Watervilla two story houseboat

On the surface, it is just another modest minimalist houseboat with a sleek modern profile, floor-to-ceiling windows and a simple box-like form. But that is only half of its story (or rather, the top of two stories). While the living, dining and kitchen areas hover above the waterline, the bedroom, bathroom and other more private spaces are submerged below.

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Watervilla two story houseboat against dock
Watervilla Kortenhoef dockside

The solution is really quite elegant and functional. On the exterior portion of the lot: leave the lawn flat and trimmed on one side to match the open expanse of water on the other. Within the building space: create three levels – the bottom as a retreat, the middle as a welcoming main floor and the top a relatively bare rooftop deck for enjoying the outdoors. An elemental modernist material palette of wood, white and black helps tie it all together.

Watervilla Kortenhoef wood facade
Watervilla two story houseboat glass hatch

Designed (unsurprisingly) by a Dutch firm, WaterStudio, this represents another potential direction for architecture in an area of the world long subjected to changing water levels. Instead of forcing inhabitants to enjoy only surface benefits of such an arrangement, they have created a simple method for layering the experience of living on the water … while taking advantage of the natural privacy that exists in the murky depths below.

Watervilla Kortenhoef glass facade

It’s called Watervilla Koretenhoef, and it’s possibly one of the coolest houseboats you’ll ever see – but you’re going to want to check out the rest of the firm’s portfolio to be the judge of that, because they’ve designed a lot of them.

Watervilla two story houseboat modern

More from the architects

This watervilla has its ground floor very near to the water level. By using a lot of glass almost every space on the ground floor offers a spectacular view over the water. The surroundings can be enjoyed from the spacious roof terrace as well. Underneath the ground floor there is a full story under the water level, where bedrooms and the bathroom are situated receiving light from internal vides.”