FloatWing: Modular Floating House by Portugal’s Friday
Architecture & Interiors
The Portuguese design studio, Friday, has combined the conveniences of a traditional house with the mobility of a boat by introducing FloatWing, a modernist floating house, conceived as an enviable weekend getaway. Friday, a design practice that hails from the riverfront city of Coimbra, describes itself as a team, “dedicated to serving the leisure and free time market with energy efficient designs.” To that end, it seems to have hit upon the ultimate leisure time perk: a stylish, mobile Mid Century-inspired house, replete with 360-degree water views and low environmental impact. How could a design-minded modernist resist?
The most startling feature of the FloatWing floating house is how well it approximates the modern good looks and functionality of a real home. Not your average houseboat, this floating house is low profile and horizontal, esthetically tied to modernist architectural sensibilities, with its rectilinear form, large expanses of glass, open floor plan, and seamless merging of indoor and outdoor spaces adhering closely to the tenets of Mid Century Modernism. It’s basic geometric elements present, of course, plenty of practical advantages, as well, by being easier to prefabricate, transport, and construct onsite.
While FloatWing has the compact efficiency of a boat, it’s light airiness exists in stark contrast to the below-deck darkness and cramped quarters of boat living. Comprising bedroom, living and dining areas, fully operational kitchen, bathroom, and upper and lower decks, the house offers plenty of room for a family of four to bed down for the night, with unobstructed water views and generous wraparound decking for sunbathing on two levels. While the house’s width—20 meters, or 9 1/2 feet—remains static, its modular design allows for up to two additional modules that extend FloatWing’s length and add additional bedrooms.
In addition to modularity, Portuguese design practice, Friday, has made sustainability a central element in the design of the Float Wing floating weekend house. The entire house, when deconstructed, fits inside 2 small shipping containers, furniture, equipment, and all, making it relatively easy to transport to a desired location. The house’s energy efficiency rests on its fully chargeable battery, which, at optimal strength, keeps the house self-sufficient for at least 7 days, an AC generator and heat pump keeping indoor temperatures comfortable. A wastewater treatment plant and sustainable materials keep the floating house’s impact on the environment as low as possible.
FloatWing travels at a speed of three knots, powered by two small outboard motors, turning this modern floating house into a mobile unit that allows its occupants a new port and fresh aquatic vistas each morning.