“The Houseboat feels far more spacious than its 255 sq m - another developer would have certainly crammed more floor space onto the site at the expense of the double- and- triple-height spaces and multiplicity of aspects. 'No set of drawings, no matter how good your 3D imagination, is as good as standing in the space and feeling it,' says Zogolovitch. He and Bowles credit the associate architect, Rebecca Granger, for ensuring that the complex design and construction process (what they call the 'curse of the curved plan') went smoothly. The Houseboat is the epitome of a calm retreat, with an interior and outlook that transports you away from the suburbs and directs your attention to the sea and sky.”*
Rob Wilson’s article in the AJ concludes “This is a house you can image long holidays in, leaving sand on the steps or sitting and watching a westerly blow a storm in over the horizon; a house that’s highly tuned but which has an easy fit, its strong spaces able to take, indeed inviting, mess and life. It is already becoming encrusted, filled up with pieces that witness Zogolovitch’s beachcombing spirit, giving the sense of an ongoing project, which with the big moves now made, is gradually bedding down, filling out with the detail of life.”
In the July 2017 RIBA Journal, Wendy Perring writes “Finding the Houseboat is no easy task, but the journey is more than amply rewarded. Arriving at the site in Poole, Dorset, is the first moment of joy in a series of unfolding surprises… The obvious display of craft and consideration of every detail is evidence that the making of this house has been an act of patronage, collaboration and dedication… The Houseboat is a home, rooted in local context and crafted with perfection and love. It has joy and soul and will only improve with the patina of age. It is a refuge with a prospect worthy of its recent success in the RIBA awards.”
The home is on the same site as is Zogolovitch’s family holiday home, the Boat House, which was constructed in 1936 around the salvaged interior of a transatlantic liner.
For Zogolovitch, it is the clever combination of the unusual aspects of the home that make it work. “When viewed together, they are like ingredients in a cake: first separated but, once mixed together and cooked, offering a delicious and surprising amalgam,” he says.