from the editor

  • starvation diet

    Why live on chips and salsa, when you can have the whole enchilada?


home front

  • write now

    ra's annual roundup of new design and architecture books will help you fill your downtime with the work and ideas of colleagues in the profession.


green piece

  • rhode island scholars

    Over the years, Estes/Twombly Architects has designed plenty of environmentally friendly houses. Cross-ventilation, managed stormwater runoff, and natural materials are part of every project that comes out of its Newport, R.I., office.


green pieces

  • green light

    Lutron Electronics' Maestro eco-minder dims homeowners' lights; its LED alerts them if they're conserving energy, too, changing from red to green if energy savings exceed 15 percent.

  • g force

    Miele's new G 2002 series dishwashers meet 2011 Energy Star requirements and claim 17 percent greater water efficiency over previous models.

  • hot top

    Custom-Bilt Metals' FusionSolar system integrates a thin-film solar laminate with a standing seam metal roof, resulting in a turnkey solution that it says is more affordable than traditional roof-mounted solar installations and will pay for itself in 10 y


k+b studio


  • open season

    Part of a remodeled master suite, this earthy, serene bath occupies what was once the worst spot in the house.



  • perfectly fitting

    Few houses survive for nearly 140 years without at least one kitchen transplant.



  • paid in full

    Midway through year two of the grimmest recession in decades, many architects are wondering where their next projects are coming from.


residential architect leadership awards

hall of fame

top firm

  • top firm: the miller|hull partnership

    No region of the United States has a stronger, more deeply rooted, or more characteristically regional modernist architecture than the Pacific Northwest.


rising star

  • rising star: john brown, raic

    John Brown, RAIC, is on a profound mission, one that doesn't involve anything as mundane as scaling K2 or swimming the English Channel. The soft-spoken Canadian wants to simultaneously improve the quality of mass-market housing and make better houses more


shelter lab

  • downtime on the farm

    Imagine a cluster of 30 or so diminutive homes set on the edge of a large field, their compact rectangles topped with tilted roofs and punctuated with bright apple-green or ochre siding. This new crop of farmworker housing, designed by the Seattle firm Mi


doctor spec

  • the business of making art

    Bruce Tomb had no clear plans in 1984 when he hand-cast a basin for a gallery exhibition in Santa Clara, Calif. As an art piece, Sacred Basin was successful, but “it wasn't done with the intent to become a product,” the San Francisco-based designer says.



new material

  • flow going

    Grohe's streamlined Rainshower F-Series showerheads and body sprays help create a minimalist, contemporary bath.

  • bright idea

    Emtek's Brighthandle stainless steel levers boast acrylic handles that illuminate when the privacy function is engaged from the inside, making them ideal for bathrooms or powder rooms.

  • upward pull

    The clean design of Du Verre's Rise cabinet hardware is decidedly modern, but its sweeping curves offer a hint of the organic.

  • motor skills

    Sometimes an architectural element can serve as a sculptural piece with a practical use. London-based designer Jake Dyson—son of famed vacuum purveyor Sir James Dyson—believes his new wall-mounted Motorlight is such a product.

  • air apparent

    Made from LUMINIST, a hybrid epoxy resin, the Neorest II lavatory exudes an ethereal vibe.

  • elements of style

    City of Industry, Calif.-based Tonusa says its “elements” line of modern kitchen cabinetry offers “elevated design at a moderated price.”



  • mckinney york architects

    Austin, Texas-based McKinney York Architects often weaves sustainable design ideas into its work. So when the 14-person firm moved into a building in the East Austin neighborhood last year, it worked hard to make the cost-conscious renovation as green as