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Home » Innovation » Inside the coolest ferryboat home conversion we’ve ever seen

Inside the coolest ferryboat home conversion we’ve ever seen

In the living area, Sky-Frame window walls capture vistas of Copenhagen harbor. PHOTO: Pernille Loof & Thomas Loof

PortandTerminal.com, October 29, 2020

“It is the most resilient architecture. As sea levels rise, so will houseboats.”

COPENHAGEN – We love to feature commercial vessels that have been repurposed and turned into homes, yachts or even hospitals. At the bottom of this article, you’ll find a few links to other articles we’ve written along those lines.

Forget the billionaires and their gaudy yachts. Today’s featured article has got to be the most stylish conversion we’ve come across yet — an old, 126-foot-long Norwegian ferry that the Danish owner has converted into a home for him, his Spanish wife (also an architect) and their young son.

First a bit about the owner and the ship. Bjarke Ingels is the founder of an international architecture firm called the Bjarke Ingels Group: BIG. When Ingels purchased the vessel in late 2016, it was a decommissioned ferryboat that had been partly converted into living quarters, with a shipping container plopped on the roof for sleeping.

“People had warned me that living on a houseboat was simultaneously the best and worst thing. When it’s great, it’s epically great. When it sucks, it sucks so massively.” 

“People had warned me that living on a houseboat was simultaneously the best and worst thing,” Ingels recalls. “When it’s great, it’s epically great. When it sucks, it sucks so massively.” So he and his wife discovered their first winter living on the vessel as they went without heat and running water at times, waking up to freezing temperatures and once resorting to bottles of mineral water to bathe before work meetings. “You start understanding what the ship is,” explains Ingels in an interview with AD, noting that their survival skills and renovation plans were ultimately kicked into high gear by the prospect of their son’s birth.

The ship has been a chance for Ingels, who has long been a proponent of floating housing, to practice what he preaches professionally. “It is the most resilient architecture,” he muses. “As sea levels rise, so will houseboats.”

Bow view of 126-foot converted Norwegian Ferry
The vessel – an old, 126-foot converted Norwegian Ferry

Room on old ferry redesigned
Below deck, new porthole windows capture slivers of sky. PHOTO: Pernille Loof & Thomas Loof

Kitchen on converted ferry
In the open kitchen and its view. Photo:  Pernille Loof & Thomas Loof

With reporting and images from AD Magazine – click here to read their full coverage

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