Self-Sufficient Living on Water

In the autartec® research project, 15 partners from southern Brandenburg and Eastern Saxony have been jointly designing, developing and implementing technologies for autarkic buildings. Based on the competencies in the fields of energy-efficient design and building, the design of highly functional products and the implementation of permanently floating houses in the Brandenburg lake district, a design has been realized that combines energy-autarkic living with aesthetic living culture.

The floating autartec® house is a symbol of a liberal and autonomous living culture spanning three interdependent utilities sectors: electric energy, thermal energy, and water treatment. The building's three interpenetrating cubes mirror the corresponding areas of autonomy. The sculptural appearance of the building is topologically structured into different surfaces that are optimally positioned for their respective energy intake. 

Following a 5-year development phase, the house was officially completed in the spring of 2019. The floating house offers many chances of becoming a cradle for further activities regarding new ways of life on both land and water. Located at the lake Bergheide in the Lusatia region, the concept contributes to the future-oriented redesign of this former mining region.


Design – FreiLichtHaus

Settlements close to the shore and especially the so-called »floating architecture« offers both freedom for creative design and favorable conditions for at least the semi-autonomous supply with energy and water. The application scenario of the autartec® concept is oriented towards the energy and space requirements of a 4-person household. The pontoon with a size of 175 square meters is the foundation for a two-story building with a wrap-around porch. Efficient and natural materials such as textile concrete and wood embody a lifestyle in close proximity to nature with ecological and architectural freedom. 

With its futuristic look, renewable energy supply and integrated environmental technologies, the autartec® house marks the emergence of the post-fossil era. 

Project Information

The autartec® project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the »Innovative Regional Growth Cores« program.

The project was structured into 3 collaborative sub-projects:

  • Sub-Project I: Functionally Integrated Textile-Reinforced Concrete Building Components 
  • Sub-project II: Structurally Integratable Utilities Systems
  • Sub-Project III: autartec® Technology Platform: Basics of Function-Bearing Structures in Terms of Construction and Production

Read more about the objectives, results and partners of the project (in German).