The awards aim to promote the importance of "good housing as a necessity of life."

The American Institute of Architects has chosen ten firms for the 2016 Housing Awards

Awards National
(Courtesy Lake|Flato Architects via Casey Dunn)
(Courtesy Lake|Flato Architects via Casey Dunn)
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has put forward a list of ten selected firms for this years Housing Awards. The program, which started at the turn of the millennium, seeks to provide recognition to the "best in housing design" and "promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life."

Eligible projects needed to have been completed after January 1, 2011. They could be renovations or new buildings of any size, budget, or style, including mixed-use projects.

Awards are be divided into four categories: One/Two Family Custom Housing; One/Two Family Production Housing (none selected this year); Multifamily Housing and Special Housing.

This years jury included Jamie Blosser, AIA (Chair), Atkin Olshin Schade Architects; Ariella Cohen, Editor-in-Chief of Next City; Kevin Harris, FAIA of Kevin Harris Architect, LLC; David Lee, FAIA of Stull and Lee, Inc. and Suman Sorg, FAIA of Sorg & Associates, P.C.


One/Two Family Custom Housing

This award recognizes work for custom and remodelled homes.

Hog Pen Creek Retreat; Austin, Texas – Lake|Flato Architects

(Courtesy Lake|Flato Architects via Casey Dunne)

(Courtesy Lake|Flato Architects via Casey Dunn)

“Towering heritage oak trees, a steeply sloping site and aggressive setbacks from the water created challenging site constraints thoughtfully answered by the home’s L-shaped footprint and orientation. A long exterior boardwalk connects a series of structures that stair step down the hillside, crossing a 75-foot lap pool and terminating at a screened pavilion by the water’s edge.”

Jury Comments: “Nicely detailed, fully cohesive design strategy with water and nature being primary influences. This feels very place based and perfect for its setting in Texas. Artful composition of masses. Delicate placement amidst mature landscape and Creek waterfront views.”

Independence Pass Residence; Aspen, CO – Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

(Courtesy Bohlin Cywinski Jackson via Nic Lehoux)

(Courtesy Bohlin Cywinski Jackson via Nic Lehoux)

“The house stretches between two knolls, forming a threshold to the views. A series of textured Vals quartzite walls extend into the landscape on either side, giving weight to the lower level. The upper volume is a glass and wood pavilion with a roof that floats on slender stainless steel columns. Its position on the site, linear shape and the use of glass, steel and quartzite gives great strength to this mountain home.”

Jury Comments: “Beautiful use of stone and lines to frame views of conservation land. A stunning house. A simply spectacular house totally attuned to its Aspen setting. The views are spectacular at every angle.”

Island Residence; Honolulu – Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

(Courtesy Bohlin Cywinski Jackson via Nic Lehoux)

(Courtesy Bohlin Cywinski Jackson via Nic Lehoux)

“Situated on the Ocean’s coastline at a corner of an ancient fishpond, this private residence reflects the culture of the Hawaiian Islands by embracing its lush surroundings. The house has diverse outdoor spaces and a highly transparent envelope with intimate views of the landscape, the coastal reef and the surf.

Jury Comments: “Excellent place based design marrying modernism with hand crafted details. An exciting take on a vernacular, providing a real warmth and openness. Lovely cultural references to both Hawaii and Japan.”

Newberg Residence; Newberg, OR – Cutler Anderson Architects

(Courtesy Cutler Anderson Architects via Jeremy Bitterman & Carey Critchlow)

(Courtesy Cutler Anderson Architects via Jeremy Bitterman & Carey Critchlow)

“This single-family 1,440 square foot residence and 550 sf guest house was designed so the owners can connect with the wild creatures that come to water regularly. The design attempts to make the pond and residence a single entity via entry through the forest, over a bridge from the north end of the pond.”

Jury Comments: “Elegant design demonstrates joy of living with nature – not requiring a grand vista or dramatic landscape. Thoughtful siting as bridge over pond, elegantly detailed. Simple, clean proportions, warm wood interiors.”

Oak Ridge House; Jackson, MS – Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.

(Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.)

(Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.)

“This house, located in Jackson, Mississippi, is designed as a scaffold for the experience of moving between these conditions, to inhabit and interpret each of them over time. It is shaped to draw the outdoors in, lure the family out, and provide an environmentally rich palette of spaces to accommodate the process of habitation.”

Jury Comments: “Understated, well designed home. Multiple functions of builtins nice feature, as is choice of materials – slate and pecan. A really, really nice L shaped residence.”


Multifamily Living

This award looks at the integration of the building(s) into their site, using both open and recreational space, transportation options and features that contribute to liveable communities. Both high- and low-density projects were considered.

1180 Fourth Street; San Francisco – Mithun | Solomon (initiated as WRT/Solomon E.T.C.)*

(Courtesy Mithun via Bruce Damonte)

(Courtesy Mithun via Bruce Damonte)

“The project occupies a full city block with a multi-level courtyard accessing tenant services, daycare, community gardens and common spaces. A generous community room serves the larger neighborhood as well as the project. Amenities emphasize fitness, nutrition, education and community life. It houses 150 low income and formerly homeless households, plus 10,000 square feet of restaurants and retail.”

*Associate Design Architect: Kennerly Architecture & Planning

Jury Comments: “This is a really cool project! It does some really neat things architecturally and is rich in many ways. San Francisco sorely needs affordable housing and this is a perfect location re: transit and accessibility. To live here you have to won the housing lottery!”

Cloverdale749; Los Angeles – Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

(Courtesy Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects via Lawrence Anderson)

(Courtesy Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects via Lawrence Anderson)

“Cloverdale749’s integration with its surroundings is upheld by carefully considered deck, window, and walkway placements wherein LOHA established a veil of transformable layers to promote a hybridized relationship between private and public spheres. Incorporating passively sustainable elements in the exterior cladding helps reduce the solar heat load on the building and its energy expenditures for cooling.”

Jury Comments: “Nice understated design. Rigorously developed and is an upgrade in its context. Very well thought out, detailed, and elegant resolution from a simple, rather banal ships container reference.”


Specialized Housing

The Special Housing award acknowledges design that meets the unique needs of other specialized housing types, including housign for the disabled, residential rehabilitation programs, domestic violence shelters, and among others.

Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts; Amherst, MA – William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

(Courtesy William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. via Robert Benson Photography)

(Courtesy William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. via Robert Benson Photography)

“The Commonwealth Honors College Community brings together all classes of students in a mix of unit types that provides 1,500 beds in seven new buildings. The buildings are organized around intimately scaled courtyards that step down the hillside, creating the sense of an academic village for the University of Massachusetts Honors Community.”

Jury Comments: “Rich mixture of campus buildings resembling an Italian hill town. So impressed that at every scale it was well thought out and integrated. They spent so much time on careful spaces for social engagement.”

Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing, VA Campus; Los Angeles – LEO A DALY

(Courtesy Leo A Daly via Lawrence Anderson)

(Courtesy Leo A Daly via Lawrence Anderson)

“As part of the Nation’s vanguard effort to house its homeless veterans, the design team of Leo A Daly took a historic structure on the VA’s West Los Angeles medical campus, a building that had been vacant for decades, and repurposed it, turning Building 209—a 1940’s-era clinic building—into an inviting new home for veterans. In the process, the building’s exterior, designated a historic landmark by the Secretary of the Interior, was fully restored, and the former mental hospital transformed into modern therapeutic housing for 65 formerly homeless veterans.”

Jury Comments: “Spaces, landscaping, and rooms afford a believable sense of importance of and gratitude towards the residents. Respectful of the original building, and respectful of the occupants on the inside. This carefully considered the specific building users and their particular therapeutic needs.”

Whitetail Woods Regional Park Camper Cabins; Farmington, MN – HGA

(Courtesy HGA via Paul Crosby & Peter VonDeLinde)

(Courtesy HGA via Paul Crosby & Peter VonDeLinde)

“Nestled into the hillside of a new regional park, three camper cabins riff on the idea of a tree house entered from a bridge at the crest of a hill. Built on concrete piers to minimize environmental impact, the 227-square-foot cabins with an 80-square-foot deck feature red cedar glulam chassis, cedar and pine framing, and red cedar cladding. Two full-size bunks, dining and sitting areas accommodate four individuals, with a sleeper sofa and folding seating accommodating up to two more. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors frame views of the forest.”

Jury Comments: “Beautiful simplicity. Colors, materials, and textures reinforce the undisturbed natural habitat. The light footprint is lovely and the low impact on the environment is wonderful.”

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