This design is for a replacement floating dwelling located within a flood risk area. The idea is extremely simple : build a dwelling on a pontoon so that regardless of water level, it floats and therefore never floods.
There are a couple of other advantages. Ordinarily, the property sits on what appears to be an elegant plinth. Therefore it is low lying within the landscape. Secondly, it requires no mass concrete foundation.
This particular dwelling was designed for a very prominent and exposed location by the sea, so in the interests of visual purity, a circular form was chosen. Happily, this also means that its weight distribution is fairly balanced (useful when floating). It can also deal with wind from any direction.
To prevent the dwelling from drifting in the event of a flood, it is designed to slide up and down a central, circular post which is rooted into the ground. As such, this forms (literally) a centre-piece of the design, around which the hall is created, thus producing an extremely efficient radial plan. Like the gauges found in fords, it can be marked to indicate depth.
The pontoon or ‘plinth’ is a multi-cavity steel drum, shaped for elegance and stability when floating. For buoyancy and energy efficiency it is insulated. The superstructure is of timber - which is lightweight, highly insulated, ‘green’ and appropriate to a maritime construction. Finally, like many dwellings and vessels, it incorporates an outdoor deck.