May 25, 2010

I’m On A [House] Boat – Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle

houseboat lake union seattle Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Ben Benschneider


Remember the Tom Hanks classic, Sleepless in Seattle? More importantly, do you remember the house he lived in? It was a floating home on Lake Union in the heart of Seattle. Sure he was restless, but that place was awesome!

Fast-forward to reality and check out this actual floating home in Lake Union; beautifully designed by Vandeventer + Carlander Architects. They have managed to transform a box with size restrictions into a wonderful home with character and appeal.

floating home lake union seattle Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Ben Benschneider


PROJECT ESSENTIALS
Architects: Vandeventer + Carlander Architects
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Structural Engineer: Swenson Say Faget
Marine Engineer: Headway Marine
Residence Contractor: dBoone Construction
Float Contractor: Trend Construction
Floor Area: 2,824 sq ft Interior / 887 sq ft Exterior (262.4 sq meters / 82.4 sq meters)
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Ben Benschneider

lake union floating home houseboat by vandeventer and carlander
Photograph by Ben Benschneider


THE CHALLENGE

The clients requested a contemporary home which would provide the spaces required for comfortable living and gracious entertaining. The final design strives to meet these performance needs in a house that transforms what could be a banal “box” into one with architectural integrity.

THE SOLUTION

– Given a limited allowable footprint and the desire of the owner to maximize both interior living and outdoor entertaining spaces, the plan flips the typical residential model by locating public spaces on the upper level and private spaces on the entry level
– This strategy allows for the consolidation of entertaining spaces in one large space on the upper level with direct access by circular stair to a rooftop deck. The design promotes flexibility of use and affords maximum exposure to views and light for the living areas

nicest-houseboat-floating-home-ever
Photograph by Ben Benschneider


THE LAKE UNION FLOATING HOME BY VANDEVENTER + CARLANDER ARCHITECTS

– Being second position from the end of the dock, the site offers views to the south of downtown Seattle and diagonally to Lake Union
– Offering panoramic views south of downtown Seattle, Queen Anne Hill to the west, and Gas Works Park northward, this home takes full advantage of its location
– A translucent stair tower “knits” the two floors together and becomes a central visual element. Large sliding doors on the upper level open the interior to the exterior thereby enhancing the connection of living spaces to the surrounding lake
– In bedrooms, the placement of glazed doors and windows was carefully considered to maximize views, to accentuate visual connections to the neighboring floating home community, and to provide natural light

kitchen houseboat floating home beautiful Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Ben Benschneider


MATERIALS
Exterior
– Exterior materials were chosen for their aesthetic qualities and low maintenance
– Aluminum panels cladding the entry level bathrooms complement the storefront windows on that floor
– The upper level features rain screen cladding with fiber cement panels. These integrally colored panels complement the lighter toned Alaskan yellow cedar framed windows
– The exterior composition is a direct reflection of internal uses

vandeventer and carlander architects Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Ben Benschneider


MATERIALS
Interior
– Interior materials were carefully chosen to complement the owners’ furnishings and color palate
– The selection of woods such as mahogany for entry level casework and zebrawood on upper level cabinets build on the clients’ rich and eclectic furniture collection
– Light hued bamboo flooring and Alaskan yellow panels at walls and ceilings recede into the background allowing the stronger furnishing elements to come forward

amazing floating home houseboat design Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Ben Benschneider


SUSTAINABILITY

– In response to environmental concerns, the location and treatment of glazing promote passive heating and cooling while providing abundant natural light
– Sun screens and overhangs provide effective summer shading
– Efficient hydronic in-floor heating utilizes an energy efficient heat pump system and the fresh air ventilation system utilizes an energy saving heat exchanger

aerial of lake union seattle washington Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Jelson25


LAKE UNION

– Seattle, Washington is home to a relatively large collection of floating houseboat neighborhoods, particularly in Lake Union and Portage Bay
– The earliest houseboats in Seattle were recorded in 1905, and peaked with over 2000 houseboats in the 1930s
– There are currently approximately 500 houseboats in Seattle. Most houseboats are designed and built for inland lakes and waterways only
– Lake Union is a freshwater lake entirely within the Seattle, Washington city limits. A glacial lake, its basin was dug 12,000 years ago by the Vashon glacier, which also created Lake Washington and Seattle’s Green, Bitter, and Haller Lakes
– Three major streets are named in relation to the lake: Westlake Avenue, which runs along its western shore from Downtown to the Fremont Bridge; Eastlake Avenue, which runs along its eastern shore from Cascade to the University District, and Northlake Way, which runs along its northern shore from the University District past Gas Works Park to the edge of Fremont
– Floating homes line the east and west sides of Lake Union. In Sleepless in Seattle, the character played by Tom Hanks lived on one of these homes

spiral staircase on floating home Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Ben Benschneider

floating home top floor seattle Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Ben Benschneider

houseboat staircase lake union Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle
Photograph by Ben Benschneider


SOURCES
– First spotted on Arch Daily
Vandeventer + Carlanter Architects
– Photography by Ben Benschneider
Wikipedia: Lake Union

basement floor plan vandeventer and carlanter architects Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle

first floor plan vandc architects Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle

house boat second floor plan Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle

roof plan floating home lake union Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle

lake union floating home Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle

floating home lake union by vandeventer and carlander architects Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle







If you enjoyed this article, the Sifter highly recommends: RE-IMAGINING THE SUPER YACHT: WALLY HERMES YACHTS

wally hermes yacht why Im On A [House] Boat   Floating Home in Lake Union, Seattle



Comments