6 Modern Homes on the Water

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By Erika Heet / Published by Dwell
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Seaside or lakeside, waterfront houses evoke a sense of peace. Here are 6 of our favorites.
It’s hard to believe that this idyllic house sited in a coastal coconut grove in Nandgaon, India, is a mere hour’s drive from bustling Mumbai. For architect Bijoy Jain, principal at Studio Mumbai Architects, making the most of the muggy locale meant foregoing walls for louvers and slatted sliding doors—and opting for local materials to construct the airy home. "Response to weathering is critical along the seaside," he explains. The East Indian laurel, Burma teak, and palmyra woods will endure the seaside climate with an oiling after each monsoon. The pool that runs between the two structures of the home contrasts the choppy white-capped ocean with tranquil charm, making it a favorite spot for the vacationing family of four, who spend weekends here at the retreat.

It’s hard to believe that this idyllic house sited in a coastal coconut grove in Nandgaon, India, is a mere hour’s drive from bustling Mumbai. For architect Bijoy Jain, principal at Studio Mumbai Architects, making the most of the muggy locale meant foregoing walls for louvers and slatted sliding doors—and opting for local materials to construct the airy home. "Response to weathering is critical along the seaside," he explains. The East Indian laurel, Burma teak, and palmyra woods will endure the seaside climate with an oiling after each monsoon. The pool that runs between the two structures of the home contrasts the choppy white-capped ocean with tranquil charm, making it a favorite spot for the vacationing family of four, who spend weekends here at the retreat.

Designed as a prefabricated monolithic steel grid, this Texas boathouse’s orthogonal frame was delivered from Houston by truck and then transported by barge to the site. "We wanted to make a delicate mark on the landscape, without blending into it outright," says Andersson.

Designed as a prefabricated monolithic steel grid, this Texas boathouse’s orthogonal frame was delivered from Houston by truck and then transported by barge to the site. "We wanted to make a delicate mark on the landscape, without blending into it outright," says Andersson.

In upstate New York, the Floating Farmhouse’s semitransparent addition has a roofline that matches the pitch of the original 1820s farmhouse. A porch, tucked under the side eaves, is cantilevered over a stream that runs through the property. Ikea loungers are illuminated from the interior by commercial gymnasium lights repurposed as pendant lamps.

In upstate New York, the Floating Farmhouse’s semitransparent addition has a roofline that matches the pitch of the original 1820s farmhouse. A porch, tucked under the side eaves, is cantilevered over a stream that runs through the property. Ikea loungers are illuminated from the interior by commercial gymnasium lights repurposed as pendant lamps.

With the help of architect Ryan Mankoski of Ninebark Design Build, interior designer Kim Mankoski, and local builder Dyna Contracting, Denise Draper ended up with a 1,000-square-foot boathouse in Seattle that’s one with its surroundings.

With the help of architect Ryan Mankoski of Ninebark Design Build, interior designer Kim Mankoski, and local builder Dyna Contracting, Denise Draper ended up with a 1,000-square-foot boathouse in Seattle that’s one with its surroundings.

In Berlin, Germany, brothers Chris and Oliver Laugsch bought a one-of-a-kind house boat for their vacation rental company, Welcome Beyond. Initially built as a home by a Dutch designer, the Modern House Boat is a three-room, 645-square-foot floating hotel. Instead of crisp sheets and room service, they offer a stellar city view and blissful peace and quiet.

In Berlin, Germany, brothers Chris and Oliver Laugsch bought a one-of-a-kind house boat for their vacation rental company, Welcome Beyond. Initially built as a home by a Dutch designer, the Modern House Boat is a three-room, 645-square-foot floating hotel. Instead of crisp sheets and room service, they offer a stellar city view and blissful peace and quiet.

As a result of this cave dwelling on Spain's Canary Islands being so close to the seemingly endless blue water, it has a distinctly no-frills vibe—but it’s hard to argue with the view. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.

As a result of this cave dwelling on Spain's Canary Islands being so close to the seemingly endless blue water, it has a distinctly no-frills vibe—but it’s hard to argue with the view. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.