House No. 2, Floating House

  • The Floating House is part of a master plan of five proposed cabin/houses, each of which are based on the repetition of a generic vernacular house and a similar system of construction, located on Lake Huron, Canada. The interior layouts have an open, no-frills symmetrical organization, while the exterior utilizes an inventive cedar plank rain-screen for the walls and for the roof. The rain-screen roofing system provides air movement between interior and exterior, allowing heat gain to dissipate through the screen before heating the interior of the house, reducing the need for air conditioning. The Floating House is specifically designed to be the main house, located within the inner bay of the horseshoe-shaped island. An exterior pedestrian path cuts through the inside of the house and bridges the two sides of the island. A traditional on-site construction process would have been prohibitively expensive due to the remoteness of the island, so instead we worked with the contractor to devise a prefabrication and construction process that took advantage of the unique character of the site. The 2,200 SF house was built outside at various locations near the lakeshore. The steel pontoon structure was constructed and towed to the contractor’s shop and eventually towed and anchored to the final site for the installation of finishes.