The Dutch Design an Autonomous Ark: The Autarc
I don’t know what it is about floating homes that I find so compelling. Perhaps it’s the guaranteed water views. Here’s one, designed in the Netherlands, where they already know a thing or two about wresting living space from the sea. The name comes from Autarcy, meaning self-sufficient. It is fully self powering.
(Actually it is intended as exhibition space, not a floating home. Architect Paul de Ruiter‘s sleek Autarc is to be a floating pavilion).
But I see it as a home. I really love the three-way wrap-around glass, folded sideways into the three-way wrap-around shell. Snug. And the sleek finish is nice.
All slim shapes, light materials, slender details and large panes of glass. Both the exterior and the interior has the same finish under the shell wrap, so the eye continues from inside to outside seamlessly.
Notice that the wall had folded down in the center to make a gangway, for when the Autarc is docked. And here, when the Autarc is about to go on the move, it transforms.
Now the gangway is folded up into the tight closed shell, and the front terrace extension has also now flipped up, making a more seaworthy enclosure that is “like zipping up a raincoat” as the designers say.
Both superbly designed and completely energy self sufficient, this houseboat has a full solar roof and solar side that is well-integrated into the design. It churns out more than enough juice to supply a hydrogen storage fuel cell instead of a battery for storing the excess solar.
A heat pump brings cooled water from below through the shell to cool the interior in the summer. There’s lots of cool water around. Elegant!