Floating Houses

The Netherlands has a history of living close to water and of coping with its caprices. That means living on land protected by dykes, on mounds, on shore or floating. Floating homes recently became eligible as a significant solution to Holland’s modern housing needs.

Living on the water has been the picture of Dutch cities ever since; not only because the country is located under sea-level but also due to its long history as a trade nation with Amsterdam as a central marketplace. After Dutch sea trade started declining at the end of the 19th Century, many retired sea barges were converted into permanent residences that moored at the canals and the waterways. This was the beginning of the famous house boat living in the Netherlands that still exists until present days.
And there’s the threat of rising river levels, too. Due to climate change, the rivers that flow into the Netherlands are more full than before. It has been recognised this problem cannot just be solved with dykes. Nowaday’s strategy: Water is no longer seen as danger, but as a chance, as a challenge. A major shift is taking place, away from working against increasing water, and instead trying to work with it. Special planning for floating apartments is one way Dutch authorities are working to adapt to the effects of rising sea levels and increasing rainfall due to climate change. For the Dutch, small differences in water level fluctuation present a problem that is only going to get worse.