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Distant view of floating home with black timber cladding
Aerial view of floating home in sustainable floating village
Close up of lounge room in floating village with water views

Floating Home, by i29, shows us how to live sustainably as part of an interdependent community with shared goals, and provides an alternative solution to where we build our homes.

This unique home is part of a new floating village called Schoonschip, located on the Johan van Hasselt Canal in north Amsterdam. The community includes 46 dwellings and is home to over 100 residents.

With Schoonschip’s aim to be Europe’s most sustainable floating community, it is self-sufficient and employs circular building practices.

Black timber deck and white interior with a view of Johan van Hasselt Canal
White kitchen with timber cupboards and large skylight

With decentralised and renewable solutions to water, energy and waste systems, each home has solar panels connected to a ‘smart jetty’ which allows residents to trade energy.

As a floating community, water is an all important resource and is consumed and treated very carefully. The entire community relies on heat exchangers, submersed in the water, for heating and cooling. Plus, they save up to 90% of water and energy consumption by recycling shower water back through the home’s system. Water tanks are fitted to some homes and is used to flush toilets and water plants.

Green sedum roofs are a feature of each home, made up of succulents, grasses and mosses. This slows water drainage and also helps in noise reduction and dust absorption.

Even with a small footprint, i29 architects were able to maximise its potential, featuring a light-filled three-level atrium connecting all floors, including a kitchen, dining, lounge room, two verandahs, master suite plus two additional bedrooms, shower room and utility space.

“Our client challenged us to design a home which would maximise the space within the volume boundaries of the plot and still have a typical yet surprising house shape,” the i29 architects explained.

Skylights and massive windows that let in natural light and open up expansive views of the canal. Smart architectural design elements like this reduce the need for electricity, which is produced by rooftop solar panels that are connected to the shared ‘smart jetty’. Energy conservation is a shared community target so the homes use high-efficiency insulation, most of which are bio-based.

Building materials for the community are equally focused on sustainability so each home, including i29, is built using FSC-certified timber. Admittedly, they couldn’t find a way around the less sustainable option of concrete for the basins. However, they were able to use recycled concrete and are continuing to seek out other alternatives.

The initiators of Schoonschip commissioned Space&Matter to develop the project’s urban plan and the project was bought to fruition with a team of multi-disciplinary consultants.

Related project: Another fantastic floating home project is LilliHaus by SysHaus. You can read about it here

Rear view of floating home with black timber cladding
Lounge room with water views in floating home
White kitchen with timber cupboards and a view of Johan van Hasselt Canal

Sustainability specs:
– FSC timber is used throughout
– Photovoltaic panels provides the home’s electricity and any excess can be sold into the smart grid
– Green sedum roof
– Extensive glazing is used to capture sunlight and water views
– All building materials had to comply with the community’s strict guidelines
– Heat energy recovery system provide heating and cooling
– Strict water and energy conservation is the norm throughout the community
– Shower water is sanitised and recycled

Black timber balcony on floating home with potted plant
A red boat park beside floating home in the floating community
Close up view of black timber verandah with a red chair
Entry door to black timber clad floating home
Schoonschip diagram
From the architect:

Within the smart grid of the village and the given boundaries of every water plot, every single home is able to be unique in architecture and interior design. All inhabitants were allowed to choose their own preferred architect.

The floating volume has a pitched roof, but the coping of the roof is turned diagonal in the floor plan which gives an optimization in usable space on the inside and an outspoken architectural design on the outside. To i29, architecture and interior designs are always intertwined and connected on each level to make a clear and unified experience.

Images courtesy of i29. Photography by Ewout Huibers

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