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Contemporary floating house in San Francisco

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This modern contemporary floating home is located on Mission Creek in San Francisco, California, designed by Robert Nebolon Architects. This incredible floating home is owned by Sarah and Kimo Bertram, who spotted this home on a Craigslist ad for rent. After meeting the owner whose husband had passed away several years earlier and had lovingly fitted out the home, a connection was formed and she decided to sell it to the newlywed couple. (Because floating homes are not typically candidates for mortgages, the seller financed the deal herself). Living amongst seals and seabirds confirmed their love of the water, Mr. Bertram said, and gave them the sense of being on vacation at the edge of a busy city.

The Bertrams’ 2,100-square-foot home was brought to dry land in a Sausalito boatyard. It took six months to build and cost about $400,000. Nested permanently in a protective, stabilizing concrete barge, the metal-sided house is like a loft on the water. Recalling the area’s industrial past, it has a saw-toothed roof and tall metal casement windows. It also has another local reference: Golden Gate Bridge International Orange, the color chosen for the front door and the circular staircase that rises to the kitchen-dining-living area. A World War II landing craft tugged it around the bay, a three-and-a-half-hour journey past Alcatraz and under bridges, to its final mooring.

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Though surprisingly serene, the creek crosses under a freeway. The house nests in a boxlike concrete barge that provides protection and keel-like stability. The metal siding is finished in highly durable fluoropolymer paint to withstand the harsh marine climate.

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Sarah and Kimo Bertram mounted a whale weathervane on their new house in memory of Bob Whaley, the late owner of their first floating home in Mission Creek.

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The couple bought most of their living room furniture on their honeymoon in Indonesia.

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Mr. Bertram had the builder make the high captain’s bed base from Ikea Akurum kitchen cabinets. He added sheathing and leather-strap drawer pulls.

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The low window brings shimmering water reflections into the shower stall.

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Having lived on the site in another house, the owners knew where windows needed to be for optimal light and views. Operable windows in the sawtooth roof bring in more light.

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Someday, the couple hope to tether a floating hot tub with an outboard motor outside their bedroom.

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Photos: Matthew Millman for New York Times

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