Living the life aquatic certainly has its appeal. “Being on the water, low and surrounded by it, you feel like you belong to another world,” says architect Eric Cobb, who was hired to design an 1,800-square-foot floating home for a Seattle couple. The pair, a lawyer and an artist, decided to downsize after their children left for college. They wanted a space that would accommodate guests, that had room for kayaks and paddleboards, and that included an outdoor lounging area.
The house was prefabricated at a shipyard in Port Townsend, Washington, and traveled by tugboat to its final destination, Seattle’s Lake Union.
Cobb and the project architect, Jacek Mrugala, opted for an urbane sensibility. They clad the structure in finishes that could handle the rigor of a waterfront locale, such as fiber cement panels from James Hardie and ipe wood to shield the outdoor storage areas. “No overt maritime themes, no boatlike finishes—rather, smart urban design, using durable materials suitable for the location,” Cobb says.