Architecture

Giancarlo Zema makes a splash with his eco-friendly solar-powered floating home

Giancarlo Zema makes a splash ...
Giancarlo Zema has designed an eco-friendly floating home (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
Giancarlo Zema has designed an eco-friendly floating home (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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Giancarlo Zema has designed an eco-friendly floating home (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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Giancarlo Zema has designed an eco-friendly floating home (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
The WaterNest 100 is made of recycled aluminum and wood (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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The WaterNest 100 is made of recycled aluminum and wood (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
The WaterNest 100 has a 60 sq m (646 sq ft) solar array integrated into its roof (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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The WaterNest 100 has a 60 sq m (646 sq ft) solar array integrated into its roof (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
The WaterNest 100 is designed for being moored on rivers, lakes, bays, atolls and calm seas (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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The WaterNest 100 is designed for being moored on rivers, lakes, bays, atolls and calm seas (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
The WaterNest 100 uses a micro-ventilation system with ceiling and floor air grilles (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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The WaterNest 100 uses a micro-ventilation system with ceiling and floor air grilles (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
EcoFloLife suggest a range of different possible furniture lines for use in the WaterNest 100 (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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EcoFloLife suggest a range of different possible furniture lines for use in the WaterNest 100 (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
The WaterNest 100 can accommodate up to a family of four people with two bedrooms (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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The WaterNest 100 can accommodate up to a family of four people with two bedrooms (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
It is also possible to configure the WaterNest 100 as an office, lounge bar, restaurant, shop or exhibition space (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
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It is also possible to configure the WaterNest 100 as an office, lounge bar, restaurant, shop or exhibition space (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)

Italian architect Giancarlo Zema has designed a new eco-friendly floating home. The WaterNest 100 is a circular pod-like structure that provides 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft) of living space. Up to 98 percent of the structure is made of recycled materials and it is powered by a roof-top solar array.

Zema is no stranger to designing innovative aquatic residences. His previous concepts have included the Trilobis 65 yacht-cum-home, a semi-submerged cliff-side dwelling and a five-level floating apartment block. Unlike these designs, however, the WaterNest 100 feels practical and like something you might actually live in one day.

"The inspiration came from observing the aquatic nests of water birds all over the world where they can live and growing their babies in total harmony with nature," explains Zema to Gizmag. "So I thought of designing something similar that can help us to embrace life and allow us to live a floating experience in a natural and energy saving habitat."

The WaterNest 100 has a 60 sq m (646 sq ft) solar array integrated into its roof (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
The WaterNest 100 has a 60 sq m (646 sq ft) solar array integrated into its roof (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)

It's designed for being moored on rivers, lakes, bays, atolls and calm seas. The gorgeous curved structure is 12 m (39 ft) in diameter and 4 m (13 ft) high. It has a recycled aluminum hull, a laminated wooden supporting frame, and curved wooden cladding and partition walls that are treated to be weather-resistant.

Electricity is generated via a 60 sq m (646 sq ft) solar array that is integrated into the roof of the structure. Amorphous solar panels are used, which are shaped to match the curve of the building's roof. EcoFloLife, which has developed the WaterNest 100 based on Zema's design, says the array has a peak output of 4 kWp, but that the WaterNest 100 can operate on around 1 kWp.

In addition, a micro-ventilation system is employed, with ceiling and floor air grilles allowing for the introduction of fresh air to the interior. EcoFloLife says an automated temperature control system ensures very low energy consumption and minimal maintenance.

The WaterNest 100 uses a micro-ventilation system with ceiling and floor air grilles (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)
The WaterNest 100 uses a micro-ventilation system with ceiling and floor air grilles (Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group)

The interior of the WaterNest 100 can be configured in a variety of different ways, each generally incorporating a central square space and accommodating up to a family of four with two bedrooms. As well as being used as a residential unit, it's possible to set up as an office, lounge bar, restaurant, shop or exhibition space.

A home automation system allows users to control lighting, draw curtains and blinds, and control the sound system. Preset lighting, air conditioning and sound profiles can be triggered, and users can monitor energy consumption and temperature. EcoFloLife also suggests a variety of different eco-friendly furniture options.

Zema says that the WaterNest 100 will be realized very soon. We're waiting to hear back on more detail of when that might be, if any prototypes have already been produced and how much a WaterNest 100 might set you back.

Sources: Giancarlo Zema Design Group, EcoFloLife

7 comments
Buellrider
Very beautiful. Naturally it will be priced into the stratosphere so only the 1% will be able to afford.
DonGateley
I want one so bad I can taste it. There are a gazilion delightful places one could retire to with it. It also has the potential for very low cost prefabricated manufacture and I sure hope that avenue is pursued.
Bob
Usually people who love the water like to get into it. Looking at the pictures, it looks like you have to fall off the bridge to the front door to get wet. Maybe they have a wet bar in the basement.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is not only green but also way cool. It would be neat to stay in it - live in it if I could.
Nairda
I see no fine mosquito nets on the doors and windows. How do you let fresh air in without being eaten alive if you live in such a picturesque bog? Art vs reality yet again. : / Also, if you made this enclosure (albeit less beautiful) in a cube form, the cost of straight timber would minuscule compared to steam pressing the wood in custom forms to make this squashed egg. But anyway, good result all round. Maybe in future when large 3D industrial construction printers are the norm this kind of thing will be available to the masses.
Lloyd Zimmerman
It was love at first sight...I want to work with these people ...
Saša Cestar
And where does the water waste go?