Residential Architect turned 15 this year, and our Leadership Awards have been around since almost the beginning. We believe it is necessary to single out high achievers in residential design, in part to showcase talented practitioners to the public but primarily to exalt and illuminate the profession in its entirety. If architects can uplift and delight in the residential realm, we have our supporters for public buildings and other larger scale design endeavors ahead of us. This year’s award-winners are doing their part to build that constituency.

No one knows towns and cities like Hall of Fame winner David Dixon, FAIA, of Goody Clancy. He understands them down to their DNA and revels in recombining it to form more livable, walkable, and enjoyable homes for communities and society as a whole. As chairman of the AIA’s Regional and Urban Design Committee, he spearheaded its response to Hurricane Katrina.

There’s a stoic brilliance at work in one of our coldest climes, where Top Firm winners Brian Johnsen, AIA, and Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, LEED AP, of Johnsen Schmaling Architects, toil. They’re the only firm ever to win both Project of the Year in this magazine and Custom Home of the Year in our sister publication, Custom Home, in the same year. In the five years since, they’ve designed some of the strongest residential work in the country—locally inspired, national in caliber, and environmentally aware.

Our Rising Star, Mark Peters, AIA, of Studio Dwell Architects, has mastered the urban dwelling that mines breathtaking internal vistas, making the most of limited square footage and ho-hum streetscapes. And he’s carved a niche as the go-to local firm for out-of-town multifamily architects. Having won multiple awards at both scales of housing, Peters is one to watch now and in the future.