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Free to download: Carl Turner puts plans for floating home on website

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Brixton-based practice Carl Turner Architects has made blueprints for a floating home available for free via an open-source architecture website

The designs by the Manser Medal-winning practice can be downloaded without charge and will allow registered users to create a home which responds ‘to the growing threat of flooding in the UK’.

Architectural drawings will appear on website Paperhouses - Architecture in Open Source, established by architect Joana Pacheco as a platform to make architectural designs available to all.

Julius Taminiau, a senior associate at Carl Turner Architects, said: ‘DIY is becoming increasingly popular. Techniques such as 3D printing and CNC milling make it easier for everyone to build and the internet makes it easier to exchange information.

‘This gives architecture the potential to become more available – not only for the rich – by providing open source architecture, which means that blueprints can be downloaded for free from the Paperhouses website.’

Taminiau added: ‘Our office tries to find a (financial) balance between commercial projects and non-profit (or very low-profit) projects. Since this is a non-profit project and there is no client, we could really show what we think is important these days. The Paperhouses project provided us with a way to manifest our office’s core beliefs. 

‘We wanted a bottom-up solution to the recent national and global flooding problems to encourage and animate people to build sustainable houses.’ 

The floating house has been designed to be carbon neutral and self-sufficient.

It would be constructed on a concrete hull used as a floating platform or base in a floodplain.

A 50m2 roof terrace provides approximately 28,000 litres of grey water a year, while a ‘crow’s nest’ observation platform also doubles as a rainwater harvesting tank.


In addition, 84m2 of solar panels provide more than enough power for the household’s needs, according to the practice.

The structure would be built from cross-laminated timber frame and have a thick layer of insulation to meet Passivhaus standards. Triple-glazed windows provide further insulation. The house is clad in fibreglass.

A floating allotment is also included in the designs.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • PII? Design responsibility? Different regulations in different countries etc - floating homes need planning permission too! so many questions...

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