Floating Communities

Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, Washington, Virginia, and Maryland

Quick Facts: 

Market: Residential, Public/Civic

Services: Planning, Residential

Project Team: Winstanley Architects & Planners

A new cultural shift is happening in residential communities.  The rivers of the region were once the life-blood of every community and the economies began and survived based on the transportation access of the rivers.  Today, those same rivers are no longer economic engines but the views and access to recreation activities increases the value of residential real estate located near the water.  That trend has shifted yet again and now includes a new concept called “Floating Communities”.

Floating communities are not new.  House boats in boat slips have been around for many years.  What is new is the planned floating community with environmentally sensitive design and construction, socially focused urban fabric, and a wellness living environment second to none.

This research project provides a vision and plans for a series of floating communities ranging from a small community of 25 homes in an existing urban marina in downtown Washington, DC to a large 84 home new community in Woodbridge.  The proposed plans document a net-zero development of homes ranging from 1,500 gsf to 3,000 gsf each constructed on a concrete “float” foundation in a remote location and brought in by barge an assembled to create a vibrant and integrated community.  Power, water, and sewage are all part of the discussion as well as common facility and shore-based support functions.