It’s easy to think of architects around 1990 as preoccupied with form-making and historical allusion, but social issues had by no means been forgotten—and certainly not by that year’s jury of architects, planners, and researchers. A development for needy Escondido residents, identified as “Housing for Homeless Mothers and Children,” satisfied the jurors’ desire to find socially responsible housing solutions.

Completed by the North County Housing Foundation and now known as Daybreak Grove, this complex includes 13 townhouses neatly lined up around a shared courtyard. Davids Killory Architecture’s design emphasizes the home-scaled identity of the individual units, each provided with a front porch and a room-sized private open court. Each unit also includes a first-floor bedroom, with a second loft bedroom overlooking the double-height living room. On the exterior, crisp geometric forms and tinted stucco yield compositions that are playful yet dignified—and compatible with the Southern California residential vernacular.

In this citation-winning scheme, the shared central courtyard was filled with play structures that some jurors found excessive for this project. In actuality, the play equipment has been sharply scaled down, and the largely open space features a modest laundry building, topped with steps for climbing and sitting. A canopy of trees now shades this community space.

In 1992, a P/A Award went to a second project in Escondido by Davids Killory for the same client: a seven-unit vest-pocket development for homeless families, now known as Sunrise Place. Both can still serve as models for affordable housing in which residents and the larger community can take pride.

1991 P/A Awards Jury
Dana Cuff
Ralph Johnson, FAIA
Rem Koolhaas
Eric Kuhne, AIA
Dean Macris
Samuel Mockbee
Adèle Naudé Santos, FAIA
Donald Watson, FAIA