If we’re ever really going to make the transition from terrestrial to aquatic living spaces, we’re going to have to address the money issue. Sure, some people might be able to afford giant yacht-esque floating mansions, but most people can’t. Designers need to create house-sized and even apartment-sized floating habitats to accommodate people of all income brackets.
That’s the beautiful thing about the German Schwimmhaus, a floating apartment-sized abode perfectly suited for bachelors, college students, and artsy folks. In fact, that seems to be exactly the type of crowd designers Confused-Direction are trying to attract. With its angular, modern shape and grassy green roof, this building automatically strikes me as the type of home that somebody with a Bachelor of Arts would be interested in.
But, of course, the Schwimmhaus has a somewhat liberal slant by its very nature. It’s humble, eco-friendly, compact, and extremely forward-thinking. Even without all of the rather slanted design features, it’s already looking like a liberal hangout.
This stereotype would undoubtedly be reinforced by the fact that the Schwimmhaus’ small size makes it ideally suited for urban environments, where space is at a premium. If Confused-Direction set out to build a boathouse in the country, they could certainly cut loose and be a bit more grandiose in their design because space would allow it. At that point, though, the size and seclusion would attract a very different type of buyer.
Confused-Direction seemingly resisted the urge to go big with their Schwimmhaus and actually built a practical home that could, in theory, be in a reasonable price range. I mean, the price tag is all what it boils down to in the end, isn’t it? If rising water levels will make floating houses the wave of the future, people are still going to be living on land if the price is too high.
Hopefully, the type of technology and techniques used to build the Schwimmhaus will be mastered in the near future, allowing architects to mass-produce floating suburbs. Aquatic neighborhoods are good in theory, but how can we ever really be certain unless we establish an infrastructure that can support that type of environment, and test to see if people can actually be happy living like that?