studio e architects, san diego

John Sheehan and Eric Naslund, AIA, of Studio E Architects in San Diego, set out to do something different with this 16-unit affordable community in Escondido, Calif. "We wanted to find a way to mix people and cars," says Naslund. "We didn't want it to be car-dominated like typical developments." They didn't miss a trick, and the judges took notice. "Every detail is well thought out," said one. "The nature of the street is wonderful."

Faced with a deep, narrow site perpendicular to a main road, the pair used the traditional bungalow courts of Southern California and the European mews concept as their models. They lined up two opposing rows of attached units along a central lane. Then they interspersed the housing units with a variety of shared elements--a central meeting building, a children's playground, and a community garden, for example--designed to ensure that pedestrians, not cars, dominate the lane. Because the developer had asked Sheehan and Naslund to create floor plans that could easily be replicated in other locations, the two-, three-, and four-bedroom plans are unfussy. But they still manage to supply occupants with small rear patios that provide a measure of private outdoor space.

project architect: John Sheehan, Studio E Architects
developer: Dan Scott, SER/Jobs for Progress, Vista, Calif.
general contractor: Richard Graham, Diversified Construction, Vista
landscape architect: Katherine Stangle, San Diego
project size: 810 to 1,290 square feet per unit
site size: 0.8 acre
construction cost: $90 per square foot
rental price: $419/month to $531/month per unit
units in project: 16
photographer: Brady Architectural Photography