Architecture

Airbnb creates fully-functioning floating house

Airbnb creates fully-functioni...
Floating House at Number 1, The Thames, offers bespoke living quarters including two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room
Floating House at Number 1, The Thames, offers bespoke living quarters including two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room
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Floating House at Number 1, The Thames, offers bespoke living quarters including two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room
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Floating House at Number 1, The Thames, offers bespoke living quarters including two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room
The Floating House was designed by brothers Steve and Nick Tidball of TBWA
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The Floating House was designed by brothers Steve and Nick Tidball of TBWA
The house walls and garden extend below the waterline, in part to mask the base upon which they are floating
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The house walls and garden extend below the waterline, in part to mask the base upon which they are floating
Despite appearing to have two floors from the outside, the Floating House actually has only one
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Despite appearing to have two floors from the outside, the Floating House actually has only one
Inside, the Floating House has been kitted out to feel like a real home
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Inside, the Floating House has been kitted out to feel like a real home
The Floating House has working electricity for appliances like the radio
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The Floating House has working electricity for appliances like the radio
Although the Floating House is designed to appear as though it is self-propelled, it is actually towed by a tug boat
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Although the Floating House is designed to appear as though it is self-propelled, it is actually towed by a tug boat
There are a variety of books and items around the Floating House
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There are a variety of books and items around the Floating House
A view of the clock and sink in the Floating House
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A view of the clock and sink in the Floating House
The Floating House can be secured
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The Floating House can be secured
The garden of the Floating House has real grass and flowers
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The garden of the Floating House has real grass and flowers
The Floating House also has real wisteria on its outside walls
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The Floating House also has real wisteria on its outside walls
The Floating House has other climbing plants, too
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The Floating House has other climbing plants, too
The Floating House is built upon a floating pontoon
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The Floating House is built upon a floating pontoon
There are nautical-themed touches inside the Floating House
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There are nautical-themed touches inside the Floating House
Furniture inside the Floating House
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Furniture inside the Floating House
One of the bedrooms inside the Floating House
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One of the bedrooms inside the Floating House
Two bedrooms can sleep up to four people in the Floating House
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Two bedrooms can sleep up to four people in the Floating House

Have you ever dreamed of living in floating house in which you simply cast off and sail away? Well now's your chance. Airbnb is offering the opportunity of a night's stay at a house that is floating along the River Thames in London, UK.

Floating House at Number 1, The Thames, is an unusual place at which Airbnb users can win a night's stay as part of a promotional contest – not unlike the former KLM aircraft that we featured last year. Marketing aside, though, it is also an impressive feat of construction.

Inside, the Floating House has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room. Not only that, but it has a garden outside complete with dog kennel and wisteria.

The house was designed by twin brothers Steve and Nick Tidball, of the TBWA advertising agency. According to Airbnb, they were briefed to create something that would enable guests to see the city in a different way. The design will not only provide views of London from its famous river, but references the city's townhouse architecture.

The Floating House was designed by brothers Steve and Nick Tidball of TBWA
The Floating House was designed by brothers Steve and Nick Tidball of TBWA

Consideration was given, in particular, to how the house would look standing alone. It was decided that the "picturesque homes of Primrose Hill and Hampstead" and even some influence from Pixar's animated film Up would give the "fairy-tale" look which was being aimed for.

Despite appearing to have two floors from the outside, the house actually has only one. It is made from six steel shipping containers that have been clad in wood and is built upon a floating base. By using a uni-float pontoon as the base instead of more conventional steel barges, it was easier to create a shape that would accommodate both the building itself and the accompanying garden.

The house walls and garden extend below the waterline, in part to mask the base upon which they are floating. The floor in the house itself, meanwhile, is raised over 1.5 m (4.9 ft) higher than it would be in a normal house, again so that the base can be contained and hidden underneath the structure.

There are nautical-themed touches inside the Floating House
There are nautical-themed touches inside the Floating House

There are some clever touches in order to provide all the facilities required for hosting guests. Water tanks hidden beneath ensure that guests are able to have showers, and outlet pipes are routed through the dog kennel in the garden. There is a generator hidden in the roof to provide power.

The whole structure was prefabricated off-site and assembled on the water using a floating pontoon and cranes. As per Port of London Authority requirements, it is not self-propelled, but instead has a hidden mechanism for being towed. A tug boat is used for towing, but is kept at a 30-m (98-ft) distance to help maintain the illusion of an independently floating home.

According to Airbnb, this is the first time a structure of this style has been allowed on the Thames. It was launched yesterday and will remain on the Thames until Friday. More information is available in the following video.

Source: Airbnb

Night At Floating House London | Airbnb

2 comments
PaulLeMay
"bespoke living quarters" What a pretentious bunch of crap. Do they measure my feet to make sure the door mat is the correct size?
John Banister
I have to imagine that the unique feature of this rental is that it spends time unmoored. A search for "London houseboat airbnb" shows several additional rental choices, and an image search for "London floating homes" shows a number of designs that might suggest different fairy tales.