Waterbuurt – Amsterdam’s Floating Neighborhood

Waterbuurt — Dutch for “water quarter — is a state-of-the-art residential development in Amsterdam, which consists of nearly 100 individual floating homes moored on Lake Eimer. The floating homes are no ordinary houseboats, but real floating houses. They float adjacent to jetties and are moored to steel pylons, so they only move vertically with the changing tides. The floating homes are built atop submerged concrete platforms and consist of a light steel frame, wooden walls and paneling. The bedrooms and bathroom are located on the lower floor, which is partially flooded. The kitchen and dining room are located on the raised ground floor, while the main living area and the outdoor terrace are on the top level. Designed by Dutch architect Marlies Rohmer, the houses have a no-nonsense, basic design, but are comfortable at the same time. They were built at a shipyard about 40 miles north of Lake Eimer and transported through a network of canals. Two-thirds of the Netherlands’ population lives below sea-level, and with the melting ice cap becoming a serious concern, there are many who believe that living on water is much safer than living on land, especially since the prices of land homes in large urban centers like Amsterdam have sky-rocketed in recent years.