Carl Turner’s Minimalist Houseboat Can Be Set On Land Or Water

Paperhouses is a scheme founded by the architect Joana Pacheco. It aims to provide open source contemporary residential architecture that’s freely available, and stimulates the designer-client relationship. This contemporary houseboat is the latest addition to the platform.


Small Floating House - Paperhouses - Carl Turner Architects - London - Exterior- Humble Homes

Designed by the London-based firm, Carl Turner Architects, their proposal involves creating a structure which will take advantage of underused waterways, and adapt to flooding: “We are developing the idea of a compact floating house in response to both the under-use of urban waterways, and as a response to the increasing problems of flooding in the UK and globally.”


Small Floating House - Paperhouses - Carl Turner Architects - London - Interior - Humble Homes

The houseboat is assembled from a series of components that are transported to the client’s site by truck, or barge. The largest component is the floating deck, which measures 23-by-66 feet (7-by-20 meters). The house is then fastened to the deck, and is composed of a lightweight insulated timber frame that’s coated with rubber.


Small Floating House - Paperhouses - Carl Turner Architects - London - Exterior River View Rear - Humble Homes

The tilted translucent sides of the home create an outer skin for the main structure, providing shelter and privacy. They also enclose a small garden to the back of the houseboat, and can be mounted with photovoltaic panels to generate electricity and hot water.

The house itself is, like a boat, quite long and narrow. Unlike most boats it’s finished in a minimalist fashion with wood-clad walls and a few furnishings. All told, there are three levels to the house. The first floor is an open plan living, dining and kitchen area. The second contains the sleeping quarters, and the final level features the roof deck.

Small Floating House - Paperhouses - Carl Turner Architects - London - Exterior River View - Humble Homes

The houseboat also has the ability to be built on land. From the architects: “The house will have its own garden areas built into the base and located on the roof, so your garden always goes with you. If the houses are arranged in groups, floating gardens can be scattered between them and a series of pontoons and walkways can connect them.”

For more houseboats, check out this small contemporary structure by NRJA. Or, the Silver Beaver Hausboot from Germany. See all houseboats.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Carl Turner Architects

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. Well I can see this type of housing being adapted to countries like Bangladesh or other low lying countries where flooding will happen due to global warming and the rise of the oceans. Can you imagine an entire community floating on the water with garden pads connecting everyone.

  2. This home is absolutely sick/awesome. I would rather have this than some $10,000,000 home. Then again I have no idea how much it cost.

  3. I like but I definitely would like more pictures especially the bedroom and the bath. With the garden area at the highest level, there should be railings. I also have questions of how much weight could the walkway to the houseboat hold especially if you have to move applicances or furniture.

  4. I am currently researching the potential and viability for a self build home (house boat / floating home) as a possible solution to getting into owning my own home. This project has given me a few ideas to pursue. I love the simplicity and minimalist approach.