Tafoni Floating Homes: The Next Wave of Houseboats?


By day, Joanna Borek-Clement designs office buildings and commercial interiors for architectural firm DGA in San Francisco, but once she leaves the office she goes to work on her own conceptual projects. “It’s too early in my career to start my own firm, but by sharing my concepts with the online community it’s as if I am already out there on my own,” says Borek-Clement. She’s designed towers that float above the Tokyo skyline, but her latest creation is a houseboat that both interacts with and mimics its coastal surroundings. Named after cave-like rock formations found along coastlines, Tafoni Floating Home was inspired by the striking simplicity of these organic shapes. “Houseboats tend to be linear, but Tafoni breaks those lines, making it feel more connected to nature,” says Borek-Clement.

While typical houseboats have low ceilings and warren-like rooms, Tafoni features high sculptural walls and few partitions, making its 960 square feet feel larger. Borek-Clement envisions the houseboat piers in Sausalito as the ideal setting for her imagined project, but the warm sun of Southern California is another possibility. While Tafoni is currently only a concept, Borek-Clement feels she has already been inside: “Once you’ve designed it, it’s as if you’ve lived there.”

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