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  7. Floating House / MOS Architects

Floating House / MOS Architects

  • 01:00 - 29 December, 2008
Floating House / MOS Architects
Floating House / MOS Architects

Floating House / MOS Architects Floating House / MOS Architects Floating House / MOS Architects Floating House / MOS Architects +20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ontario, Canada
  • Architects

    MOS - Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample
  • Design Team

    Fred Holt, Chad Burke, Ryan Bollom, Forest Fulton, Temple Simpson, Marcin Kedzior, Jimenez Lai
  • Engineering

    David Bowick, Blackwell Engineering
  • Construction

    Kropf Industries, Penfold Construction
  • Area

    186.0 sqm
  • Project Year


From the architect. This project intersects a vernacular house typology with the site-specific conditions of this unique place: an island on Lake Huron. The location on the Great Lakes imposed complexities to the house's fabrication and construction, as well as its relationship to site. Annual cyclical change related to the change of seasons, compounded with escalating global environmental trends, cause Lake Huron's water levels to vary drastically from month-to-month, year-to-year. To adapt to this constant, dynamic change, the house floats atop a structure of steel pontoons, allowing it to fluctuate along with the lake.

Locating the house on a remote island posed another set of constraints. Using traditional construction processes would have been prohibitively expensive; the majority of costs would have been applied toward transporting building materials to the remote island. Instead, we worked with the contractor to devise a prefabrication and construction process that maximized the use of thee unique character of the site:

Lake Huron as a waterway. Construction materials were instead delivered to the contractor's fabrication shop, located on t he lake shore. The steel platform structure with incorporated pontoons was built first and towed to the lake outside the workshop. On the frozen lake, near the shore, the fabricators constructed the house.

The structure was then towed to the site and anchored. In total, between the various construction stages, the house traveled a total distance of approximately 80 km on the lake.

The formal envelope of the house experiments with the cedar siding of the vernacular home. This familiar form not only encloses the interior living space, but also enclosed exterior space as well as open voids for direct engagement with the lake. A "rainscreen" envelope of cedar strips condense to shelter interior space and expand to either filter light entering interior spaces or screen and enclose exterior spaces giving a modulated yet singular character to the house, while performing pragmatically in reducing win d load and heat gain.

Cite: "Floating House / MOS Architects" 29 Dec 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Kenneth Shum · September 12, 2014

Hi i was just woundering how does this house manage waste and how does this house get fresh water and electricity??

rahul awasthi · February 19, 2013

is this structure somehow in contact with the base of the lake....or it is supported by bank to keep it static.....?

fredia · January 10, 2013

hi friends...

jethro · January 05, 2013

Just a note that there is no tide on Lake Huron as mentioned in the article. The raising and lowering of the water is dependent upon which way the wind is blowing causing the water to vary up and down approximately 1'. As mentioned, this is a beautiful cottage with little visual impact on it's surroundings as it is located in a relatively unpopulated or developed area.

fredia · January 10, 2013 10:36 AM


DoorandWindowParts · August 27, 2012

A great house on one of the great lakes--love floating architecture!

Lantz Mattinson · August 24, 2012

I want to make one of these

Sammy Chan · August 24, 2012

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

kathy oneill · August 24, 2012

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

???? · August 24, 2012

???????????????????????? ? Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily @archdaily ??????????????????????????????

Jeff Owens · August 24, 2012

That&#39s a floating house!

anar-CHIE-tecture · August 24, 2012

La maison qui flotte...

Arquitectura · August 24, 2012

RT @barby_omodei Floating House #architecture + nature vía @archdaily #arquitectura: Floati...

Barby Omodei · August 24, 2012

Floating House #architecture + nature vía @archdaily #arquitectura

danheyden · August 24, 2012

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Marcos · August 24, 2012

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily vía @archdaily

IMF · June 19, 2012

Great details of images and floor design! It's nice to see more than just an artist's mock up of a design for once. Hopefully a style like this will only gain in popularity!

CMYKenneth · June 14, 2012

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Marcia Marshall · June 14, 2012

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

?????? · June 13, 2012

???????????????? · March 23, 2012

Costruire sull&#39acqua una casa in #legno. Il progetto degli architetti Meredith & Sample

PMserramenti · March 15, 2012

RT @woodstories: Per chi ama sognare #legno #architettura

woodstories · March 13, 2012

Per chi ama sognare #legno #architettura

Dianne Leadbetter · March 11, 2012

Loving the Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Alexander Rosolik · February 02, 2012

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily ? ??????? @archdaily

Vassilis Papakon/nou · December 01, 2011

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Lise Vabø · October 31, 2011

a floating house - #architecture #design

energysavinghouse · October 17, 2011
Cynthia Kotsiakos · October 11, 2011

Floating house; I like it! #architecture

Centor4 · September 28, 2011

Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Centor4 · September 28, 2011

Floating House / MOS Architects

maria · June 17, 2011

i have chosen floating hotel as my thesis project please help me with its structure and suggest some sites and some please also provide me with technical details

Emmanuel · October 10, 2016 01:08 PM

Hey Maria How can i get in contact with you

rookietect · November 28, 2011 08:39 PM

hi maria,

you can find awesome details in the following magazine:

rookie :)

Barby Omodei · October 29, 2010

#arch & #nature via @ArchDaily

Jennifer Knight · October 08, 2010

I just love this idea. Floating House / MOS Architects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

WillyVolk · June 17, 2010

When we live in the Virgin Islands, we&#39ll let you stay in this floating house when you visit

Smart Box | PT · May 20, 2010

I want one!! | Floating House

Jon Limjap · September 26, 2009

Filipinos living near rivers and estuaries should consider this architecture when putting up a house:

koon · June 09, 2009

in a lecture, they mentioned that the house was constructed almost completely from the shown model. construction drawings were almost non existent.

Steven Conte · March 07, 2009


I was just wondering if there were any exploded axometric views of this house to show how the major parts are assembled. Thanks.


Anne Rivière · January 26, 2009

Do you think that special authorisation are required (in France) to build such an house? Or can it be considered as a boat?
Best regards

Ale Lariu · January 12, 2009

see - it is possible to build a floating house

Olivier M. · January 08, 2009

I love this idea! = )

Margy · January 07, 2009

I was very interested in your float structure. I live in a floating cabin on Powell Lake in BC. My float is large cedar logs that are assisted by 55 gallon plastic barrels. Cedar logs are getting harder to come by to construct new floats. I invite you to take a look at my floating home. -- Margy

T. Dahl · December 30, 2008

Impressive, but will the steel pontoons survive the ice in the winter?

C.K. Avangado · December 30, 2008

Great architecture, i should start studying "watching architecture" that´ll be great!

petrusmaximus · December 29, 2008


Contemporary Art · December 29, 2008

This house was in Dwell I think. Very beautiful, obviously, but I wonder about the impact for the river and also for anyone else who might want to use it (or look at it). It's a fairly aggressive gesture. Love the shots at night, though.


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