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PHOTOS: The floating homes of Stockholm

An increasing number of residents in Stockholm, Sweden, are improving their quality of life by living in floating villas. But the floating homes have not been without controversies, and one housing project has gone bust, reports Erik Bergin.

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Stockholm was built on islands, and water is always present around the Swedish capital. So it’s no wonder that having water in sight is a premium parameter on the city’s housing market, often pushing prices upwards 100,000 SEK or more if a glimpse of Lake Mälaren can be sighted from the however small balcony.

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Around the city’s piers and old docks, old schooners, tug boats and decommissioned fishing vessels lay moored, many used as homes at least during the short but warm Swedish summer. Living on a boat, though, has been subject to long time debate, with the authorities not wanting to issue permits for boats functioning as homes.

But at Pampas Marina (Pampas’ Marine) at the western part of Kungsholmen, one of Stockholm’s main islands, the residents have landed a beautiful deal. Around the jetties, 10-20 house boats and floating villas lay moored, legally, with superb views of Ulvsundasjön (Ulvsunda Lake), part of Lake Mälaren, and Kungsholmen – a prime location in the city that has developed into a much-wanted way of living among residents, year around. In March, the frozen lake make swimming an impossibility – but views from the floating living rooms of Pampas are no less inviting.

Across the city, Marinstaden is an even grander attempt to create the ultimate living environment for those who like to be close to water. Half finished the project ran into financial difficulties in 2009 and had to file for bankruptcy. But a few houses were sold prior to the folding of the construction company, and all infrastructure is in place.

Computer rendering of Marinstaden, "the Marine City", in Stockholm. Photo: Marinstaden AB

Computer rendering of Marinstaden, “the Marine City”, in Stockholm. Photo: Marinstaden AB


GALLERY Stockholm’s floating homes


The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.