California Architects Show Housing Skill

Sacramento, Calif.—The American Institute of Architects, California Council announces the recipients of the 3rd annual Residential Design Awards program.

This year, 112 entered the program, which meant the jury had to roll up their sleeves and get down to narrowing the pile. After much deliberation and debate they culminated it down to eight. This year’s jury found the range of submittals particularly interesting—from affordable and multi-family housing, to un-built and single family dwellings. And, as sustainability and resource-efficiency metrics were required for each entry that came up in deliberations as well. One juror commented, “It’s interesting and inspiring to see all the different approaches to sustainability.” Another mentioned that “It’s great projects are now sustainable but also have strong aesthetic. It shows a very exciting corner turned.”

From industrial qualities to a common thread of adaptive reuse as well as several work-play structures, the final 8 demonstrate a well-rounded example of the varying entries. All recipients have been notified. Stay tuned for the gallery of images on And, if you are interested in attending the reception to meet the winners, please click here.


Hupomone Ranch
Turnbull Griffin Haesloop

DESCRIPTION: Hupomone Ranch is a LEED Platinum house designed to reflect the owner’s commitment to sustainable farming and draw on the natural serenity of the site. The simple grounded form of the barn is sited to capture the long southern views to the pool and coastal range beyond.

Heptagon House
Steven Christensen Architecture, Inc.

DESCRIPTION: This project is an experiment in micro-housing that offers a geometric solution to a peculiar regulatory challenge. Required to adhere to the 195 s.f. footprint of an existing century-old foundation near Heceta Beach, this highly compact guest house angles outward from its base, taking advantage of the simple properties of plan rotation in order to simultaneously expand the area of the upper floors and align them toward the spectacular ocean view.

Halls Ridge Knoll Guest House
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

DESCRIPTION: The Halls Ridge Knoll Guest House is the first building as part of a three building master plan designed to choreograph movement along an extraordinary ridge-top site. The building is anchored to its site with a stone wall and chimney that support a modest house tucked under a shed roof.

2802 Pico 100% Affordable Housing
Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners

DESCRIPTION: This project provides 100% affordable family housing on a previously underutilized site in Santa Monica’s commercial corridor, with 33 units above active retail and community space organized around an engaging courtyard. Addressing the different densities, height limits, setbacks, step-backs and parking requirements required by the site’s two zones became the central challenge in making the project feasible.

The Cresta
Jonathan Segal FAIA

DESCRIPTION: The Cresta is a sustainable net zero 5,300 square foot Southern California residence using wood and concrete to process a reductive design form in order to bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor. The home is one story below grade and two above framed by a delicate concrete roof and wall structure over a reflecting pool with the appearance of floating due to the large expanses of glass.

Fawcett House Restoration

DESCRIPTION: An extensive historic restoration of this mid-century Frank Lloyd Wright structure in Central California returns this farm home to its original grandeur. The home is now being used as a residence and is available for limited tours.

Sweetwater Spectrum Community
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

DESCRIPTION: Sweetwater Spectrum is a new national model for supportive housing for adults with autism, offering life with purpose and dignity. Created to address a growing national housing crisis for adults with autism, this community for sixteen residences in Sonoma integrates autism spectrum-specific design, universal design and sustainable design strategies.

Oberfield Residence
Studio Pali Fekete architects

DESCRIPTION: This L-plan house burrows into its sloping site to stay withing the mandatory height limit of eighteen feet, and its street facade is clad in a rain screen of cement panels with minimal openings that conceal the fully glazed interior from the street. The house is cut into the hillside, and a retaining wall and reflecting pool flank the long bar of living spaces that extend almost to the edge of a canyon and an angled infinity pool.

Since 1982, the AIACC has celebrated outstanding architecture through the Design Awards program. The Residential Design Awards program proudly recognizes excellence in architecture and continues to celebrate the value of good design.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Shannon Calder 916.642.1718.

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