Architectural Accolades — AIA Housing Awards

This year’s AIA Housing Awards recognizes 11 projects for their design dominance

A contemporary, cube-shaped live-work apartment building in L.A.’s Koreatown, complete with a rooftop deck; a LEED Platinum project in suburban Van Nuys that provides dwellings and social services for the homeless; and a nearby Palm Springs production home that equals the presence of a custom luxury estate, at one-fourth the cost per square foot of high-end residences seen throughout SoCal. These are among the winners of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 18th annual Housing Awards, which lauds exceptional residential design in new builds, restorations and renovations.

“Projects are judged by architects who specialize in housing,” says Victor A. Mirontschuk, chairman and principal of the San Francisco-based architecture, interior design and planning firm EDI International, who this year helmed a five-member jury that chose 11 projects nationwide to receive awards in four categories: one- and two-family custom residences, one- and two-family production homes, and multi-family and specialized housing.

“Receiving an award from your peers reaffirms that the work produced is of excellent quality, down to the smallest detail. As a judge, we look at the overall aesthetic of the building, scrutinize the floorplans, analyze the details and use of materials, and try to understand how the project integrates into the surrounding community.”

Standing out among this year’s winners was overall excellence, expert execution, clean lines and exquisite detail, says Mirontschuk. In L.A., specifically, the Crest and Mariposa buildings look similar—both with stark-white exteriors and interiors, and no other color except black accents on Mariposa—yet their geometry is polar opposite.

“In contrast, the Mariposa building incorporates gentle curves on the exterior and interior,” he says. “On the exterior, the use of very boxy, varying size and randomly placed balconies add interest to the simple building mass. The interior walkway is an amazing curved sculptural element that is playful in its design.”

Meanwhile, the Linea home in Palm Springs is a boxy, L-shaped building with a strong yet private street presence, but an incredibly inviting and casual courtyard. “The strong linear geometry is simply detailed,” says Mirontschuk, “and massed to create a wonderful covered courtyard porch with expansive glass to enhance the indoor-outdoor relationship.” Always a winning combination.

Below are the recipients of this year’s AIA Housing Awards, all celebrated for design excellence, as well as sustainability, cost, durability, innovation, social impact, client needs and addressing natural and built contexts.

The Bear Stand

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Gooderham, Ontario, Canada
One- and two-family custom residences
(category one)

Ghost Wash House

Architecture-Infrastructure-Research
Paradise Valley, Arizona
One- and two-family custom residences
(category one)

South Fifth Residence

alterstudio architecture
Austin, Texas
One- and two-family custom residences
(category one)

Underhill

Bates Masi + Architects
Matinecock, New York
One- and two-family custom residences
(category one)

3106 St. Thomas

OJT
New Orleans
One- and two-family production homes
(category two)

Linea Residence G

Poon Design Inc.
Palm Springs, California
One- and two-family production homes
(category two)

150 Charles

COOKFOX Architects, DPC
New York City
Multifamily housing
(category three)

Mariposa1038

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Koreatown, L.A.
Multifamily housing
(category three)

Navy Green

FXCollaborative
Brooklyn, New York
Multifamily housing
(category three)

Benjamin Franklin College and Pauli Murray College, Yale University

Robert A.M. Stern Architects
New Haven, Connecticut
Specialized housing
(category four)

Crest Apartments

Michael Maltzan Architecture
Van Nuys, California
Specialized housing
(category four)

Written by: Wendy Bowman
Photograph: Courtesy of Iwan Baan

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