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MORE ABOUT: Floating House – Lake Huron, Canada

Location: Lake Huron, Canada

Architect: MOS – Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample

Structural Engineer: David Bowick, Blackwell Engineering

The Floating House is a summer vacation home that fits harmoniously into its surrounding environment. This house is a modest sized dwelling with only about 1500 square feet of living space and 2 bedrooms. The first floor has a dock for a ski boat and or a pair of jet skis.


The foundation is a steel frame with integrated steel pontoons. The superstructure is made out of prefabricated timber elements.  The structural columns and beams are made from 90 x 90 mm timber posts.

Roof Assembly:

The roof is made from tongue and groove cedar boarding on the exterior, battens for nailing down the cedar boarding, plywood, thermal insulation between rafters, joists, and plasterboard for the finished interior soffit.

Wall Assembly:







The wall assembly is relatively typical for a single family residential house. From exterior to interior the walls are made from tongue and grooved cedar boarding, pine battens, a windproof layer, plywood, thermal insulation between posts and rails, plasterboard.
















Special Detail – Floating Foundation:

Due to the relatively drastic changing water levels of Lake Huron and remoteness of the site, erecting this floating house was both a constructional and logistical challenge.

The remoteness of the site made traditional building methods cost prohibitive because most of the cost would be wasted transporting materials to the site. Instead the materials for the house were delivered to the contractors fabrication shop on the lake shore where the steel pontoon platform was prefabricated first. The platform was then towed to the lake outside the fabrication shop. On the frozen lake the contractors built the house on top of the steel platform. The house was then towed to its final site and anchored. Throughout all the construction phases the house traveled approximately 80 km on the lake.


MOS. MOS Architects. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. <;.

“Floating House on Lake Huron, Canada.” DETAIL 2009 issue 12. Print.

Written by Joshua Meade

January 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized