sasaki associates, san francisco

if you must study, it might as well be on the balcony of your dorm room, right? Despite fiduciary resistance, John Coons found a way to deliver this precious and rare private outdoor space within his allotted budget. He hears now they're a favorite locale for social and studious activities, but he did have an ulterior architectural motive for including the flourish. “Budget considerations prescribed two large buildings,” he says, “and the balconies, along with elements of transparency punched into the stucco, add layers of texture to make the project seem richer than the sum of its parts.”

The jury concurred, complimenting the “beautifully proportioned spaces” that make a “strong statement.” Artful massing, judicious use of rich materials such as redwood soffits, and a touch of whimsical color make the buildings feel more intimate. Public spaces occupy key corners to engage passers-by. The judges also acknowledged the architects' thoughtful integration of the buildings with the landscape. This pleased Coons, who gave as much effort to outdoor areas as the buildings themselves. “The strategy was to define neighborhood outdoor spaces that would be owned by this community,” he says.

principal in charge: John Coons, Sasaki Associates
project architect: Tim Stevens, Sasaki Associates
general contractor: EDGE Development, Temecula, Calif.
campus planner / landscape architect / interior designer: Sasaki Associates
project size: 150,822 square feet
site size: 3.47 acres
construction cost: $121 per square foot
rental price: $700 per month per bedroom
units in project: 111 units, 424 beds
photographer: Greg Hursley