The Divorce Houseboat

Cold feet? Consider buying this Prenuptial Houseboat


Our social behaviors affect the way that our homes are designed. And do you know what is a tendency in our modern society? Divorce. An Amsterdam-based design studio created a modern houseboat that can split apart. Consequently, when its inhabitants decide to go their separate ways, the two units of the floating home can be detached and each spouse ends up with an independent house.


This may seem quite cynic and awkward to buy a house with your spouse and already consider a possible break-up. But is it really different from a prenuptial agreement? It is not very optimistic but at least it is realistic, when you think of increasing divorce rates. Plus, the break-up process is complicated enough when you have to sort things out regarding the administration, children, personal belongings… In this case, the spouses will not have to think about finding a new place.


Artists impression of The Divorce Houseboat


Artists Impression of the Divorce Houseboat, designed by the Amsterdam based Studio OBA. (Image: Studio OBA)


Make divorcing less painfull  

The instigator of this project, PR expert Omar Kbiri approached the Dutch design company Studio OBA. The designers were inspired by Amsterdam’s floating architecture while creating their ‘Prenuptial Housing’. Their goal was to make divorces less painfull.


The house boat consists of two separate prefabricated units made out of lightweight carbon-fibre elements and timber components so that it can properly float on water. The two units embrace each other and form a floating home that can adapt to different environments. One of the main difficulties that the creators encountered was to find a geometrical shape that makes two units look like one. A mechanism allows the inhabitants to disconnect the two units – mechanism we know very little of as Kbiri remains tight-lipped since he is discussing with investors. However, good news: should the spouses get back together, the two units can reattach!


Large market for 'divorce houseboats'

Although the Prenuptial House remains conceptual, Studio OBA estimates that they may start taking orders as soon as next year! They are planning on building a prototype to test user-friendliness and the performance of the structure.

And they hope that their project will be successful in Belgium, Portugal and Hungary which are the countries with the highest divorce rates in the world. 


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