Inspiration

A Floating Oasis on Lake Eildon

Residing on the pristine waters of Lake Eildon, about a two-hour drive outside of Melbourne in Australia, this architectural marvel challenges tradition with its seamless blend of form and function. Designed by Jolson, the Halcyon is not just a modern houseboat, but an enviable floating dwelling that feels unconfined. Halcyon leverages Jolson’s combined architectural experience and local familiarity to create a design that draws inspiration from dynamic watercraft, like ships and speedboats, and infuses a sense of motion into the structure.

The name “Halcyon” not only signifies a happy and peaceful period of the past, but also the mythical bird believed to calm winds and waves. Just like its name, the Halcyon houseboat delivers an idyllic and serene escape from the hustle of daily life.

exterior of modern multi level white houseboat with black glass floating on lake with sun setting behind it

partial back view of houseboat floating on lake

closeup partial back view of houseboat floating on lake

partial back view of modern houseboat floating on lake

closeup up view of corner of houseboat

down view of back corner of houseboat floating on lake

modern interior of covered but open dining area of houseboat

One of Halcyon’s primary design goals was to establish a harmonious connection between the interior and the breathtaking surroundings. The shared living areas on the ground floor offer uninterrupted views of the water and landscape through the perimeter of windows. The living room opens out to a covered outdoor room offering additional seating and dining options.

modern interior of covered but open seating area of houseboat

The unique window design allows the sides of the houseboat to slide open to form an outdoor living room surrounded by the water.

interior view of modern seating area on houseboat

modern kitchen on houseboat

modern living room interior with large sofa in houseboat

modern living area with view from sofa to minimalist fireplace

Beneath the staircase, a built-in cabinet hides a TV while operating as a bar for entertainment.

interior view of open staircase

angled partial view of modern open staircase on houseboat

An open staircase placed in front of the windows connects Halcyon’s three floors while allowing natural light to permeate inside.

angled view of modern white bedroom on houseboat

The middle floor houses four bedroom suites that are strategically separated from the boat’s decks and passageways for privacy and tranquility with elevated views of the lake.

angled view of modern white bedroom on houseboat

The two main bedrooms, located at each end, boast circular mirrors that bounce light and the surrounding views, fully immersing the guests in the landscape.

angled view of modern white bedroom on houseboat

interior hallway view on houseboat

Attention to detail is evident in the materials and furnishings on board the Halcyon houseboat. The rugged texture of sawn-cut timber floorboards extends into the furnishings, creating a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor decor. The thoughtfully curated color palette gives nod to the natural surroundings, particularly the gradient tones on the shore as the water recedes down the bank.

top deck exterior of partially covered deck on houseboat

The partially covered top floor is a large multifunctional living space without walls, offering breathtaking 360-degree views. This roof space is a haven for relaxation on the sun lounges, daybeds, and wood-fired hot tub, while providing plenty of room for dining and entertaining at the linear bar complete with kitchen and bar amenities, and a circular banquette for eating.

top deck view of partially covered space with bar and hot tub

top deck view of partially covered space with bar and hot tub

view from back of houseboat looking at water

Photography by Lucas Allen.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.

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