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· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Topic: In Amsterdam, Floating Homes That Only Look Like Ships

When Karen Bosma first moved her boat to the Borneokade, northeast of Amsterdam’s bustling city center, in 1999, the neighborhood was barely more than a cluster of commercial docks and underused warehouses.

凱倫.博斯馬1999年剛把她的船移到荷蘭首都阿姆斯特丹熱鬧市中心東北方的波諾卡德時,這一帶幾乎只有成排商船船席和不常使用的倉庫。

“It was for poor people — a lot of artists lived on boats,” she said, sitting in her neat, cozy living room just below the waterline.

博斯馬坐在她整潔舒適的客廳裡回憶說:「當時這是窮人聚居區,很多藝術家住在船上。」客廳就在吃水線下方。

In the quarter century since, Bosma, a 62-year-old social worker, and her husband have raised two sons on the Distel, a 1912 82-foot freighter, which — stripped of its engine, fuel tanks and cargo hold — is one of Amsterdam’s iconic houseboats, with a seagoing hull, wheelhouse and curtained windows.

此後的四分之一個世紀,現年62歲的社工博斯馬和先生,在這艘船上把兩個兒子帶大。這艘船名叫「迪斯特爾」,是1912年打造的貨船,長25公尺,引擎、燃料槽和貨艙都已去除,是阿姆斯特丹著名船屋之一,具備遠洋船船體、舵手室和裝上窗簾的窗子。

Three boats down lies the B18, an elegant 131-foot, 2 1/2-story floating mansion (with more than 3,000 square feet of interior space) that shows just how perfectly the soul of a luxury yacht combines with open-space living and elegant living quarters.

三艘船以外停泊著B18,是雅緻的兩層半水上豪宅,長40公尺,室內面積超過279平方公尺(約84坪),顯示奢華遊艇的精髓如何與室外生活和優美的室內起居空間完美結合。

“It has to be a ship on the outside and a house on the inside,” said Gijs Haverkate, 53, who created the vessel and lives on it with his family.

53歲的哈福卡特造了B18,並與家人住在船上,他說:「B18必須外觀是艘船,內部是個家。」

In the Dutch capital, houseboats have gone upmarket. The new owners are wealthy and discerning, interested in new designs, upgraded comfort and sustainability.

在阿姆斯特丹,船屋已變得高檔了。新一批船屋主人富裕且有品味,對新設計、更高的舒適感和永續性都很感興趣。

Haverkate, a designer by trade, hopes his boat will inspire others to build on the water. He runs UrbanShips, a company that builds customized houseboats designed to look like ships.

哈福卡特以設計為業,希望他的船能激勵別人在水上蓋房子。他經營「都市船」公司,依照客戶需求打造看來像船隻的船屋。

After years of serving as a relatively cheap place to live in an expensive city, Amsterdam’s houseboats — or rather the spaces they float — have become popular and expensive, with prices increasing 30% to 40% over the past five years alone, according to Jon Kok, one of the city’s best known houseboat real estate agents.

阿姆斯特丹的船屋(更確切地說,是承載船屋的水面),原本的功用是在這昂貴的城市中作為相對廉價的住所,多年下來卻變得大受歡迎且價格高漲,阿姆斯特丹最知名船屋仲介公司之一「約翰科克」資料顯示,單單這五年來,船屋價格就漲了三到四成。

The whale’s share of the price increase comes from the value of the berth, not the ship.

船屋價格上漲,主要是因為船席變得更值錢,而不是船體本身。

A typical Amsterdam canal berth might be worth close to a half-million dollars, depending on its location and how big a ship it will allow; some of the older, unrenovated ships in those berths might be worth only $20,000 (building a new ship, of course, is much more expensive).

一個典型的阿姆斯特丹運河船席,可能就要近50萬美元,視地點和可容下多大船隻而定。停在這種船席上的一些老舊未翻新船隻,可能只值兩萬美元。(當然,造新船貴得多。)

But in this gentrification debate, the cost of new berths is less important than the architecture of the ship — and whether they ever served as actual commercial ships.

不過,在討論船屋愈來愈高級的話題時,新船席的價格並不如船隻的設計美感和是否曾作為真正的商船來得重要。

Once populated by converted working boats, the canal now holds an increasing number of floating houses designed to look like oceangoing vessels but with hardly any of the working features of a real boat.

阿姆斯特丹的運河曾經滿是工作船改造後的船屋,現在有愈來愈多的水上房屋,設計成外觀像遠洋船,但實際上幾乎不具備真正船隻的功能。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/348587/web/#2L-16188816L

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Topic: Japan has so many vacant homes it’s giving them away

Four years ago, Naoko and Takayuki Ida were given a house in the small town of Okutama, in Tokyo prefecture. For free.

4年前,井田直子與孝之得到一棟位於東京都小鎮奧多摩的房子。不用錢。

A free house may sound like a scam. But Japan faces an unusual property problem: it has more homes than people to live in them.

免費的房子聽起來像是騙局。但日本正面臨一項不尋常的房地產問題:房屋數量多於入住人數。

In 2013, there were 61 million houses and 52 million households, according to the Japan Policy Forum. And the situation is poised to get worse.

「日本政策論壇」指出,2013年時有6100萬間房子與5200萬戶家庭。而且,這種情況還會日益惡化。

Japan’s population is expected to decline from 127 million to about 88 million by 2065, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security, meaning even fewer people will need houses. As young people leave rural areas for city jobs, Japan’s countryside has become haunted by deserted "ghost houses."

根據(日本)「國立社會保障、人口問題研究所」,預料日本人口到了2065年,會從1億2700萬減至約8800萬,意味需要房屋的人會更少。隨著年輕人為了在都市工作離開鄉間,日本鄉間已充斥遭棄置的「鬼屋」。

It’s predicted that by 2040, nearly 900 towns and villages across Japan will no longer exist - and Okutama is one of them. In that context, giving away property is a bid for survival.

預料到了2040年,全日本將近900座小鎮與村莊將不復存在—奧多摩便是其中之一。在此情況下,贈送房地產便成為一種求生之道。

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Topic: Part Office Building , Part Homeless Shelter

A year ago, when Amazon let a homeless shelter for families move into a former motel it owned, it was viewed as a nice but fleeting gesture.

The motel was on a chunk of downtown property where Amazon planned to eventually erect yet another set of sparkling buildings to meet its insatiable need for office space in this city. The hotel would be torn down and the shelter kicked out when that time came.

一年前,亞馬遜公司讓一個遊民(無處可住)家庭收容所遷進該公司所有,曾為汽車旅館的一棟建築,當時被認為是好心,但僅屬暫時性的善舉。

這家汽車旅館位於市中心的一大片地產上,亞馬遜最終計畫在這塊土地上興建另一批閃閃發光的建築,以因應該公司在這個城市對辦公室空間永難滿足的需求。當重建的時刻降臨時,旅館會被拆除,收容所也會被掃地出門。

Instead, Amazon has decided to let the shelter stay. In an unusual arrangement, the company has agreed to give the shelter, Mary’s Place, a permanent home inside one of the new office buildings for which it will break ground in the fall.

Amazon will give roughly half of the six-story building to the shelter, providing it with 47,000 square feet of space with private rooms that can hold 65 families, or about 220 people and their pets. The facility, expected to open in early 2020, will have its own entrance and elevators.

然而事非如此,亞馬遜已決定讓收容所留下。在一項不尋常的安排下,該公司已同意在預定秋天動工興建的新辦公大樓中的某一棟裡,讓收容所「瑪麗之家」擁有一個永遠的家。

亞馬遜準備大約將這棟六層樓大樓的一半提供給收容所,讓收容所擁有4萬7000平方英尺地坪,計有足可容納65戶家庭,或約220人和他們的寵物的私人房間。這項設施預計2020年年初啟用,將有自己的大門和電梯。

“I see it as this huge gift because everywhere we go, we end up leaving,” said Marty Hartman, the executive director of Mary’s Place, which runs seven transitional shelters around the Seattle area meant to house families until they can find permanent homes. “You come in and become a fabric of the neighborhood you’re in, and then you say goodbye. That’s a hard thing for a lot of people to do.”

In an interview at the current Mary’s Place site owned by Amazon, which was bustling with families returning to the shelter for the evening, John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president for global real estate and facilities, said the company would spend “tens of millions of dollars” on the design and construction of the shelter’s portion of the building. Amazon will pay the utilities for Mary’s Place, which will occupy the space rent free, although the organization will continue to pay its own staff.

「瑪麗之家」執行長馬蒂.哈特曼說:「我把它看成天大的一份禮物,因為無論我們到那裏,最終都得離開。」「瑪麗之家」在西雅圖地區經營七個中途之家性質的收容所,收容一些尚未找到固定住所的家庭。她說:「你住進來,成為你所加入鄰里的一份子,然後又得說再見。這對很多人來說是件困難的事。」

「瑪麗之家」目前所在地產權為亞馬遜所擁有,此刻正因一些家庭返回過夜而顯得頗為熱鬧,亞馬遜主管全球房地產和設施的副總裁約翰.舒特勒在此處接受訪問表示,該公司將花費「數千萬美元」設計和建造這棟建築內的收容所部分。亞馬遜將支付「瑪麗之家」的水電費、讓「瑪麗之家」免租金使用空間,不過「瑪麗之家」將繼續支付他們自己員工的薪水。

Schoettler said Amazon originally allowed the shelter to stay in the motel because of the severity of Seattle’s homelessness crisis, which had prompted the city’s mayor to declare a state of emergency in 2015. Schoettler said Amazon was impressed by Mary’s Place, and he described its plan to give the shelter a permanent home as an investment in the neighborhood.

In San Francisco, Google, Salesforce.com and others have funded a campaign to find permanent housing for homeless people. But Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington, D.C., said she was unaware of any other private corporation integrating a homeless shelter into its building.

舒特勒說,亞馬遜最初允許收容所搬進汽車旅館,是因西雅圖遊民危機十分嚴重。遊民危機2015年時促使西雅圖市長宣布進入緊急狀態。舒特勒說, 亞馬遜被瑪麗之家給打動了,他把亞馬遜計畫給收容所一個長久的家這件事,稱為該公司對當地社區的一項投資。

在舊金山,谷歌、Salesforce.com 和其他公司都在資助替無家可歸者尋找固定住處的一項運動。不過,華盛頓特區非營利宣導團體「終結無家可歸全國聯盟」總裁南恩.羅曼說,據她所知,沒有任何其他私人公司讓遊民收容所進住他們的大樓。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/314016/web/

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