The dining room opens onto the semi-walled entrance area. The open floor plan and careful window placement eliminate the need for air-conditioning.
7 of 33Photo by Benny Chan for Fotoworks
Best custom home: Bedroom
Frosted glass gives this street-facing bedroom a bit of privacy. South-facing windows allow winter’s rays to warm the house; in summer, the eaves help block the sun.
8 of 33Model by Arthur Mount
Best custom home: Model
The house sits back on the lot―it doesn’t loom over the street corner.
9 of 33Photo by Bill Timmerman
Best green home: The Wright way
Project: Taliesin Mod.Fab, Scottsdale, AZ
What we love: The optimism and vision of Taliesin students are visible everywhere in this smart prefab.
The result of a design/build class taught by Jennifer Siegal and Michael P. Johnson, it’s a dynamic, livable house that honors Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy while tackling important design issues of today, from innovative prefabrication to sustainable systems like solar panels and rainwater and gray-water collection.
Design: Michael P. Johnson, faculty lead, Mod.Fab Studio, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ.
10 of 33Illustration by Arthur Mount
Best green home: Floor plan
The unit, less than 600 square feet, is narrow enough to be transported by road.
11 of 33Photo by Joe Fletcher
Best indoor-outdoor design: Without borders
Project: Vienna Way Residence, Venice, CA
What we love: This stylish house―the home of one of the firm’s partners―expressed his family’s desire for a design encompassing landscape and architecture.
Sustainable features and native plants up the ante on a seamless integration of indoors and out.
A grassy roof helps keep the kitchen from heating up in warm months.
Sliding doors let evaporation from the swimming pool cool the house.
13 of 33Photo by Tim Griffith
Best residential remodel: Stage set
Project: Honighaus, San Francisco
What we love: Clients with modern in mind find it’s not always easy to work within the San Francisco Planning Department’s historical mandates.
But the architects here proved the maxim that good design comes from constraints, creating an updated exterior for the 1910 Edwardian (see before photo next) to house a museum-like transformation indoors.
Jurors were particularly taken with the dramatic concrete “water wall” (at far left of house) that feeds into a small channel cascading to a pond at the rear of the property.
The once-busy back of the house has been opened up and simplified.
15 of 33Photo by John Clark
Best urban living space: Triple play
Project: Colman Triplex, Seattle
What we love: That the architects designed a complex yet elegant system to fit three apartments, each with generous outdoor living space and views, within just 3,800 square feet.
The use of a structural steel frame allowed for more flexible floor plans: Someday, for instance, units A and C could be combined to make an apartment large enough to house a home office, an aging parent, or a growing family.
The kitchen in the top-floor unit A borrows a view from the park next door.
17 of 33Photo by John Clark
Best urban living space: Bath
Also in unit A, a light well illuminates the master bathroom.
Next, see how the units fit together.
18 of 33Illustration by Workshop Architecture + Design
Best urban living space: Diagram
Units A and C could someday be easily merged into one dwelling.
19 of 33Photo by Benjamin Benschneider
Honorable mention: Small space
Project: Sky Ranch, Seattle
What we love: That the Miller Hull Partnership saw the potential of all these empty rooftops with a view, designing a smart 800-square-foot apartment atop a 62,000-square-foot warehouse roof.
As the architects explain, “This is just one example of what is possible if we look at these forgotten landscapes as new opportunities.”
Jurors were impressed by how the architects wrangled space away from pigeons and mechanical units while finding a new use for waterfront property in an industrialized setting. They also made note of how the project increased urban density using existing space.
The roof's deep overhang keeps the rooms cool even though the walls are glass.
See the model next.
21 of 33Illustration by Arthur Mount
Small space honorable mention: Model
Existing stairs leading to the warehouse roof became Sky Ranch’s front door.
22 of 33Photo by Nic Lehoux
Honorable mention: Indoor-outdoor living
Project: Sheldon Gatehouse, Cle Elum, WA
What we love: Who among us hasn’t dreamed of an idyllic cabin in the woods? Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has fulfilled that fantasy for the owner of this rustic-meets-modern two-bedroom getaway sited to maximize the sylvan surroundings, a two-hour drive from Seattle.
Indoor and outdoor rooms, linked by a “boardwalk,” frame gorgeous vistas of the Wenatchee National Forest from multiple angles.
Jurors also appreciated that the buildings have strong visual impact yet occupy a minimal footprint on the land.