Innovative design

Can houseboat villages save SF Bay?


Approximately 20 and 165 square miles of San Francisco Bay Area are at risk due to the threat of a rising sea level and sinking ground levels. The communities living here raise their concerns about this matter. The story is not new but it is still a controversial topic on the table. Thus here is the big question: How to save the Bay? The answer might be found in innovative floating villages.


By Linh Vo | images by BIG/ONE/Sherwood Design Engineers

San Francisco South Bay floating village and houseboats

Those who live on, or rent a houseboat for an unforgettable holiday, know about the advantages of living on the water. But you might not have realized that floating structures might be just the solution for the massive challenges that coastal areas like SF Bay face. In late 2017, a group of architect and urban designers proposed a provincial scheme. Additionally, the project includes houseboat villages, a hanging park, wave blockade, alternative lanes for buses and roads will be re-organized for electric vehicles’ benefits. 

San Fransisco South Bay floating village

The provincial proposal is submitted by the big three firms following Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), One Architecture + Urbanism (ONE), and Sherwood Design Engineers. The scheme is focusing on three main territories: The South Bay, an area near the Golden Gate Bridge and Islais Creek’s industrial area.

By the same token, the City of San Francisco will select some of the talented designers for their Islais Creek’s project. The authorities are yearning to build a new park and renovate the pier. The final plans will be presented at the end of May.


Enjoy these fruitful designs which architects hope to bring a happy smile back to The Bay’s Communities!