River dwellers


The Niall McLaughlin Architects’ Houseboat won first prize of the “Unbuilt House” category of the RIBA’s Future House London competition.

Houseboat is a basket of woven carbon-fibre, combining inflatable and woven elements.

You enter the Houseboat through a loggia of interwoven electronic elements that gather energy from the environment and reuse it.


Although it wasn’t the big winner, another project is the star of the exhibition:
Architect Marcin Panpuch, willing to answer to London’s overheated housing-market, designed a spherical house allowing you to live on the river Thames, in London’s empty docks, or in the middle of the capital.

The sphere would be divided into three floors built around a core containing the stairs, kitchen, bathroom and lavatories. The upper floor is the living space, with the lower floor housing the bedrooms and main entrance.

The bottom floor, beneath the surface of the river, would be used for storage, water tanks, heating system and computer equipment. Retractable screens offer privacy. Energy from solar panels is stored in batteries below water level. The main floor stores heat in the day for release at night.

These designs are being shown at the Royal Institute of British Architects’ exhibit of innovative housing, Future House London until 29 July.

From This is London.