Amphibious House - Formosa

Structural Designer


Client Name



Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Baca Architects
HR Wallingfords
Greenford Ltd



Positioned on an island in the River Thames, the UK’s first amphibious house can rise up by 2.5 metres, more than enough to cope with an extreme flooding event. The house remains operational during a flood and can be occupied as soon as flood waters recede. Crucial to its survivability is that the house should have a low centre of gravity. This is achieved via the concrete basement, which weighs around 150 tonnes, in contrast to the timber superstructure which weighs only 45 tonnes. The house is balanced with suitcase weights commonly used on tractors.

Judge's comment:

By designing a house capable of rising by up to 2.5m on rising flood water whilst remaining fully functional the Structural Engineer has demonstrated how our profession can contribute to mitigation of one of the world's greatest natural hazards. By sustaining the house through the flood and returning it as the flood subsides all need for demolition and replacement is removed.

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