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Architect Chooses MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME for Floating House and Office-Ark

  • 14.06.2017

About The Project

The tatami, a mat that is used in many Japanese houses, is still used in Japan for measuring houses and rooms. The size and lay-out plan of the tatami mats were also the inspiration for the Amsterdam based architect Julius Taminiau when designing and building a floating house to live and work in. The sizes of the tatami correspond relatively well with the standard size of 244 x 122 cm of today’s panel material. In order to use the panel material as cladding for a floating house an extremely durable, waterproof material was required. Therefore the architect chose MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME. This acetylated MDF is waterproof, and sets itself apart through dimensional stability and extreme durability.

Floating House

Julius Taminiau got to know MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME at an exhibition in London, where he worked on an open source plan for houses. Back in the Netherlands he used the material again for his own floating house and office. Julius Taminuau: “The boat has a size of 100 square meter and consists of two floors. The rooftop will be half filled with solar panels which will be concealed by the balustrade. Apart from the living and sleeping rooms one of the spaces of the floating house will have a double height and will be a working space with a flexible layout. In the open space a mezzanine floor enables the creation of separate work and meeting areas.

Fixed grid

The floating house had to fullfil the requirements of the architect concerning ingeniuity and sustainability. “The budget for this project was very low and therefore we decided to rationalise the design as much as possible and had to make it as clever as possible”, the architect said. “The solution was found in a design with a fixed grid basis on the size of panel material. The sizes of the rooms, cladding, windows and other materials had to match precisely and are well proportioned. It also reduces the amount of rest material to a minimum, thus avoiding unnecessary impact on the environment while reducing costs.


The lay-out of the MDF cladding has a tatami grid and is applied in a fish-scale pattern. By emulating nature’s time-tested pattern the architect pronounces the principle of sustainability that played an important role in the deisgn. “The facade of the floating house will be continuously exposed to wet and damp conditions”, said Taminiau. “Therefore we chose the durable MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME as cladding.” The acelytated MDF makes the material waterproof and dimensional very stable. “The result is a panel that doesn’t rot and expands minimally in length or width; even not after direct contact with water.” MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME material is delivered with a guarantee of 50 years.

Easy to process

The floating house and office were build by Oranje Arkenbouw in Hardenber; the panel material was supplied by RET in Utrecht. When building the boat the builder took advantage of the excellent processing properties of MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME. The panel material can be sawed, coated, painted, sanded, nailed and mounted as other wood materials. The durability class 1 makes the panel material as durable as hardtimber types like teak. The material was finished with a mat coating that is based on water. Julius Taminiau: “Because the material hardloy expands or rots, the coating will remain longer.” Because of its high dimensional stability MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME enables maintenance cycles of 15 years. The dark colour of the coating gives the floating house a massive character and underlines the eastern mystique. Wide variety of applications The potential applications for MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME are far ranging and will inspire creativity and discovery, particularly in environments where humidity and weather are usually concerns. It is possible to imagine MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME used virtually anywhere. This ranges from façade cladding, fascia and other secondary exterior applications to window and door components, wet interiors and speciality furniture as well as signage and sound barriers. MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME is available in the sizes 244 x 122 cm and 122 x 305 cm. Other sizes are available on request.