The Pittman Dowell Residence was designed by Los Angeles–based Michael Maltzan Architecture. The seven-sided structure was inspired by a geometric series of interlocking polygons, and features living spaces that enclose an irregularly shaped outdoor room.

Jury: “The house acts like an optical instrument with staged views of the surrounding landscape. … The clear, concise presentation of details and the theatrically arranged spaces constitute a sublime and poetic expression, and push the boundaries of what a house can be.”

Architect: “The house is adjacent to a [Richard] Neutra house, the Serulnic House, from the 1950s. My clients were … looking for a house that would be both a respectful yet challenging neighbor to the Neutra house. They wanted to design a house that would take into consideration the meaning of ‘Contemporary’ as opposed to ‘Modern.’ That might seem like a small distinction, but for them the term Modern has a very particular meaning, both in their world as painters and also in architecture.” —Michael Maltzan