Dream Houseboat—A New Float Home in Seattle

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Project Description

The words “new construction” and “houseboat” rarely go together. Most houseboat slips in the Seattle area are already taken. So when a retired couple looking to downsize approached architect Dan Nelson—principal architect at Designs Northwest Architects, of Stanwood,Washington—to design their new float home, it was a dream opportunity.

Originally, the owners thought a Craftsman style would be appropriate to match other surrounding homes. But after surveying the area, Nelson suggested another approach: a design that hinted at the industrial and warehouse origins of the locale. “I asked them if we could do something that was a takeoff on the wharf aesthetic, something conceptual and cool,” he explains. “When I work, I’m a very participatory, collaborative architect. I do a lot of drawing with my clients right from the beginning, even when I’m conceptualizing. In one of the first meetings we had, I sketched some conceptual elevations.What we built was pretty close to that first sketch.”

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