Inside a Luxe US$2 Million London Houseboat That Lets You Live on the Thames
Astoningshly, “Bosco” was once an old cargo barge used to carry grain and coal throughout Europe.
BY Rachel Cormack  |  November 22, 2022
4 Minute Read

London’s River Thames is dotted with houseboats of varying degrees of luxury, but the one currently docked at Oyster Pier in Battersea is quite smart indeed.

Bosco, which the Modern House just listed for US$2.15 million (£1.8 million), began life as a Dutch cargo barge but was turned into a stylish floating abode by the founding directors of LAB Architects, Alistair Langhorne and Claire Bunten.

It was no easy feat, of course. The 1950s ship, which schlepped coal and grain all across Europe in her former life, needed to be entirely re-engineered after the two architects bought it in 2016. A new steel and glass top section was added, while the interior was reconfigured for modern-day living.

The Bosco Houseboat

The winter garden.  The Modern House

Split over two levels, Bosco offers 2,150 square feet of interior space. (For comparison’s sake, a standard 40-foot houseboat spans around 1,200 square feet inside and out.) The layout comprises three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, a contemporary open-plan kitchen, a dining room, a study and a utility room, because it is a boat after all. There’s even a moody, banquette-lined cinema cleverly hidden in the bow.

Another highlight is the verdant winter garden. It sits inside a fully-glazed structure that the architects liken to a “transparent sea container.” Heaters ensure the plant-filled room is usable all year round, even in the depths of a cold English winter.

The Bosco Houseboat

The open-plan kitchen and dining room.  The Modern House

In terms of decor, Bosco is replete with decidedly posh furnishings that elegantly contrast charming original features, such as brass portholes, oak paneling and parquetry flooring. In addition, the home offers uninterrupted views across the Thames and over to Imperial Wharf on the North Bank.

To top it off, Bosco comes with a coveted long-term, 120-year mooring at Oyster Pier. Located on the southern banks of the Thames, the marina is just a few minutes from Battersea High Street, which boasts an inordinate amount of quintessentially English pubs, a few top-notch cafes and at least two swanky wine bars. There’s a great caviar and truffle shop, too. Hey, you’re going to need a good supply of osetra if you decide to anchor.

Click here to see all the photos of Bosco.

The Bosco Houseboat