Houseboats are a staple of the San Francisco Bay Area, but many people find them too cramped to be a permanent residence. The Tafoni Floating Home, designed by Joanna Borek-Clement aims to change that with a design that is both spacious and compact. The home, which is inspired by smooth, oval California coastal pebbles, is ideally meant for the houseboat district of Sausalito, and is roomy enough for even the most claustrophobic customer.

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Borek-Clement’s 960 square foot home is divided into a kitchen, living room, and bedroom area. The living room and bedroom both feature Tafoni-shaped windows – windows that resemble the naturally occurring sandstone formations that appear along the Northern California shore. Unlike most houseboats that have low ceilings, the Tafoni house has  high ceilings and minimal partitions, giving it the illusion of spaciousness.

There are no particular features of the home that stand out for their sustainability, but Borek-Clement points out that, “Houseboats, as opposed to traditional homes, have no foundations that permanently impact the land. They can be moved from one dock to another to allow the shaded land underneath them to recover.” As climate change hits some coastal areas hard, floating homes may, in fact, become a more popular type of dwelling. And as Borek-Clement notes, living close to nature makes it more important to be respectful of the surrounding flora and fauna.

+ Joanna Borek-Clement