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from the editor

  • reinventing the american house

    So much money goes into bringing houses to market, so much financial burden to bear, it's no wonder builders are risk adverse. And so they aim for the perceived mainstream with designs that are only slightly tweaked over the years. They cling to conventional wisdom as if their lives depended on it...

     

perspective

  • a manifesto

    The majority of Americans live in poorly designed homes that are haphazardly sited, thoughtlessly constructed, and, in some cases, hazardous to their health.

     

practice

  • teach your clients well

    Architect Scott Guyon, AIA, thinks of his clients as heroes. Of the new homes built in central Kentucky last year, only about 10 percent were designed by architects. So, he figures, the relatively few brave souls who request his services are not ordinary people. They have a higher threshold for...

     

residential architect design awards

project of the year

  • lake austin residence, austin, texas

    Lake/Flato Architects knows something about making an entrance. The sequence of steps leading to the front door of RA's Project of the Year, a custom house by the firm in Austin, Texas, rivals any Broadway choreography.

     

custom / more than 3,500 square feet

  • misha/twaddell residence, san jose, calif.

    Because one of the clients for this California project uses a wheelchair, the architects designed it with accessibility in mind. But they were careful not to make it feel institutional, an achievement the judges admired.

     

custom / 3,500 square feet or less

  • mckeough house, block island, r.i.

    This Block Island retreat keeps the island's architectural tradition of spare buildings intended to withstand harsh conditions.

     
  • eleventh street residence, santa monica, calif.

    To meet their clients' slim budget for this Santa Monica, Calif., custom home, Koning Eizenberg Architecture decided to think of it as a "Crate and Barrel" house.

     
  • hartmann residence, fairfield, conn.

    As is so often the case on a difficult site, this narrow lot inspired a cleverly designed house that makes the most of its footprint.

     
  • the point house, montana

    This is a lovely house, set low, and doesn't make a statement," a judge said. But it has plenty to say about the landscape. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson devised a long, linear platform that treads lightly on the land.

     

renovation

  • wheatland farms log cabin, waterford, va.

    The jury liked that this sensitive addition to a nearly 200-year-old cabin "grew organically around the original structure." And they felt a contemporary glass catwalk gave the design "that extra oomph."

     
  • waverly house, waverly, pa.

    When Bohlin Cywinski Jackson renovated the house and guest cottage on Peter Bohlin's own rural Pennsylvania property, it preserved the compound's modest qualities but overlaid it with a Modernist's sense of space.

     
  • mankins-camp residence, san francisco

    The house enjoys a spectacular hilltop vista of San Francisco's skyline, but four decades of unfortunate remodels made it difficult to get past the bad taste to the great view.

     
  • houghton residence, omaha, neb.

    One programmatic move transformed the kitchen of a traditional builder house into an urbane space that works as well for intimate dinners as it does for large parties.

     

multifamily

  • the titan, san diego, calif.

    Art and architecture intersect at the Titan, a 22-unit apartment building in San Diego. Jonathan Segal, FAIA, conceived the building's two-part facade after viewing the abstract planes of a Richard Diebenkorn painting.

     
  • norton towers-on-the-court, west hollywood, calif

    West Hollywood, Calif., has a legacy of courtyard housing, so the city encourages developers to build within the tradition. This project, however, is the first one to implement the standard on such a narrow lot--and to do it successfully.

     
  • north beach malt house, san francisco

    In a previous life, the North Beach Malt House was home to several family-owned brewing companies. Today, the renovated building is the anchor of a four-building condo project that blends both old and new aesthetics.

     

single-family production / attached

  • the state, san diego, calif.

    Architect-developer Jonathan Segal, FAIA, wanted to build himself a house in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood. But he needed to find a way to finance it.

     
  • row homes on f, san diego, calif.

    Architect Kevin DeFreitas wanted to avoid a condo project in downtown San Diego, fraught with lawsuits brought by homeowner associations, yet maximize the number of dwellings on this pricey piece of land.

     

single-family production / detached

  • warwick grove, the warwick, warwick, n.y.

    Our judges gave this project an award both for what it is--a modest production house model that exemplifies quality over quantity--and for what it isn't. "It's not McMansiony," said one judge.

     

Affordable

  • tesoro grove family housing, san diego, calif.

    It's hard to imagine a less desirable site than the one Studio E Architects faced in designing Tesoro Grove Family Housing, south of San Diego.

     
  • homesafe, san jose, calif.

    The judges called HomeSafe "a friendly, welcoming place"—exactly the type of reaction Studio E Architects hoped to evoke.

     
  • harold way apartments, hollywood, calif.

    The judges admired the way this Hollywood, Calif., affordable housing engages the street. This effect results from much wrangling by Koning Eizenberg Architecture, which won several plan exceptions from the local zoning board.

     

kitchen

  • hannah's house, memphis, tenn.

    Architect Todd Walker is a Modernist, but he realizes that for some people the style has an ascetic quality to it. So when he set about designing this kitchen for his small family, he wanted to achieve a space that was softer and gentler and, most important, didn't take itself too seriously.

     

bath

  • logsdon restroom, des moines, iowa

    The wet spaces become a piece of sculpture ... something completely different ... it speaks to a broader view of what you can do in a bath," were some of the praises showered on the renovated bath (the only bathroom) in this 1,500-square-foot home.

     
  • jackson street bathroom suite remodel, san francisco

    Lustrous materials and ruthless editing transformed this Edwardian attic into an ultra-Modern master suite.

     

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