bbg architects and oz architects, santa ana heights, calif., and scottsdale, ariz.

This project's unusually strong relationship to its desert site in a master planned community near Scottsdale, Ariz., earned it winning marks. "It's contextual with its surroundings and sits gently on the landscape," said one judge.

According to project architect Jeffrey Berkus, AIA, of BBG Architects, one of the keys to the community's success is the developer's commitment to quality materials. "They put a lot of money into mortar-set, clay-tile roofs," he says. "The tiles are boosted with concrete, which gives them a random, aged look." A mortar wash over the synthetic stone used for chimneys and walls made the stone appear natural enough to fool the judging panel. BBG worked within a muted, site-influenced palette of colors and materials established by consulting architect Oz Architects.

The Villas' land plan also contributes to its visual appeal. Lots are clustered together at a density of seven units to the acre. The distribution and placement of the four different floor plans were predetermined so that the architects could locate windows and outdoor spaces for maximum privacy. Courtyards, terraces, and covered outdoor rooms allow homeowners to take advantage of the warm Southwestern climate and mountain and golf-course views.

project architect: Jeffrey Berkus, AIA, BBG Architects
land planner: Russell E. Greey, Greey Pickett Planners, Phoenix
developer: The Lyle Anderson Companies, Scottsdale
general contractor: Anderson Homes and Design, Scottsdale
project size: 2,342 to 3,464 square feet per unit
site size: 15 acres
construction cost: $125 per square foot
sales price: $450,000 to $750,000 per unit
units in project: 65
photographer: Ralph Rippe