Merit Award: Custom house
This beach house, at once polished and rustic, embodies casual indoor-outdoor living.
Why it won: The home was inspired by well-known Bay Area architect William Wurster, who designed the earlier structure that burned down. His brand of under-stated California modernism allows for the present home's easy flow to wind-protected outdoor spaces. The H-shaped plan puts the living/dining area at the center. To meet seismic codes and federal requirements for homes in high-risk coastal zones, the structure sits on wood posts with rod bracing like a fishing pier, permitting floodwaters to run underneath.
Design: Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, Berkeley (510/841-9000)