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A Small House That's Designed to Float

A 433-sq.-ft. houseboat showcases nine strategies that can make any small house live large

Through the use of nine space-saving strategies, architect Russell Hamlet was able to design a houseboat that feels much bigger than its 14 ft. 9 in. by 22 ft. 6 in. footprint. Basically one room, the house is divided by partitions and built-ins into distinct zones for entry transition, kitchen, dining area, living space, office, and sleeping loft. In addition, the house and a kayak rack border a small deck, giving it a roomlike sense of enclosure and adding to the living space. In a nod to the houseboat marina's setting amid industrial buildings and warehouses, the house features aluminum windows and a galvanized-metal roof. The house sits on a 34 ft. by 18 ft. float made of 4-ft.-thick expanded polystyrene blocks encased in an 8-in.-thick reinforced concrete shell. The float should last for 80 to 100 years.

A Small House That's Designed to Float

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