Google's secretive empire took a hit today, as the tech giant was ordered to move its "mystery barge" from its dock at Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. The four-story barge is one of two such structures, and no one really knows what's inside. (Though speculation runs rampant.) Google has had controversies like this before, such as when it came under fire for buying cheap fuel from NASA for private planes, including one "light attack jet."
While Google assembles its apparent fleet, barge architecture is no mystery. Here are some other examples of marine structures that will float your boat.
Image courtesy Ole Scheeren
Floating Theater by Ole Scheeren, Venice
This floating theater was designed for the 2012 Venice Biennale and served as a cinema, with several viewings per day. The wood, multi-level platforms are illuminated at night by recessed lights.
Image courtesy Zelimie Grzancic
Croatia Pavilion, Venice
This pavilion for the 2010 Venice Biennale featured a structure on a barge that floated from Croatia to the main pier of Venice for the festival. It is made of 30 tons of wire mesh.
Three wood structures and one fabric building float, allowing sauna-goers to swim in the river upon exiting the hot rooms. It is based on Finnish and Icelandic saunas.
This home, one of many such floating houses with a view of the San Francisco skyline, uses metal panelling to get an industrial look. The white, sawtooth roofline is also reminiscent of the industrial vernacular.
Image courtesy www.viahouse.com
Watervilla De Omval of Amstel, Amsterdam
Similar to the San Francisco Bay, Amsterdam features some astounding floating architecture. This modern house boat is different from many of its neighbors, but many famous architects such as Herman Hertzberger have dabbled in Dutch floaters.
Image courtesy North Star Marine
Venturi & Rauch's Lieb House Relocation
In 2009, the 40-year-old house that was one of Venturi's earliest successes became a demolition target. A couple of doctors rescued the structure by buying it for $1 and moving it to Glen Cove, New York, which cost them $100,000 in shipping.
Top image via businessinsider.com