The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the 10 recipients of the 2012 Housing Awards. The AIA’s Housing Awards Program, now in its 12th year, was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.
Continue after the break to view the 2012 recipients.
Category One: One and Two Family Custom Residences
Carmel Residence / Dirk Denison Architects Carmel by the Sea, California
Located on a dense site facing Carmel Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the residents were keen to be fully cognizant of this amazing setting in all areas of the home. As such, the house was conceived as a central room comprised of the courtyard, living room, and bedroom, bordered by niche spaces including the kitchen, breakfast nook, office and master bath. The courtyard, bordered by vertical a vertical screen of solid mahogany and steel, opens to the home through fully folding glass doors. The screen, opaque when viewed at an angle, is actually porous, allowing both air and light to travel through the entire home. The residence takes advantage of a favorable climate to allow outdoor spaces to become integral to the experience, greatly expanding its perceived square footage.
Hampden Lane House / Robert Gurney Architect Bethesda, Maryland
Designed as a cube, the house is approximately 2200 square feet with no unused or underutilized spaces. The flat roof provides an additional 1100 square feet of outdoor living space with views of treetops and the downtown Bethesda skyline. This house represents a deliberate departure in both the thought process and the realization of current building trends in the neighborhood. The house is intended to be more site sensitive, environmentally conscious, and to provide comfortable, efficient living spaces. Fenestration in the ground faced block walls, composed of varying sized rectangular and square openings, is arranged to optimize views to the green spaces while minimizing views of adjacent houses in close proximity.
Nakahouse / XTEN Architecture Los Angeles, California
Nakahouse is an abstract remodel of a 1960′s hillside house. Due to zoning, budget and ecological considerations the foundations were maintained in the design. The interior was completely reconfigured however, several cantilevered terraces added, and the exterior was opened up to the hillside views. A series of indoor-outdoor spaces with framed views to nature are rendered in white steel, plaster and concrete, lending further to the concept of an ‘uncontained’ space, with no rigid beginnings or ends. The contrast between the interior and exterior of the house is intentional and total. While the interiors are light and fluid, the exterior walls are finished in a black monolithic plaster system. These deep black plaster walls act as a net, anchoring the house in the landscape.
The Pierre / Olson Kundig Architects San Juan Islands, Washington
Conceived as a bunker nestled into the rock, the Pierre—French for stone—celebrates the materiality of the site and the owner’s affection for a stone outcropping on her property. With its rough materiality, which encompasses stone, green roof, and surrounding foliage, the house disappears into nature from certain angles. Throughout the house, rock extrudes into the space, contrasting with luxurious interior textures and furnishings. Interior and exterior hearths are carved out of existing stone and left raw—much like the master bathroom sink and the powder room, which are fully carved out of the rock.
Relic Rock / DCHGlobal Inc. Scottsdale, Arizona
Relic Rock is the prototype for a sustainable building system that is based on a three dimensional structural grid comprised of 99% recycled steel and a standardized set of structural, architectural, and building components. A 7’x 7’ horizontal module and a 1’-3” vertical module allow the building to adjust to the natural contours of site in both directions creating “floating” floor planes that leave native boulder formations and natural topography untouched. The system is designed to the LEED Platinum level and can be efficiently constructed in any location, climate, or terrain.
Category Two: One and Two Family Production Homes
Live Work Home / Cook + Fox Architects Syracuse, New York
Essentially a small modern loft, the LEED Platinum Live Work Home is an efficient, highly adaptable space designed as an urban infill prototype for shrinking cities. Grounded in ideas of healthy living and biophilia, the home is also a response to Syracuse’s climate and ecology. Skylight tubes provide daylighting for long, light-starved winters and a perforated screen adapts to shade the summer sun and bounce daylight into the house. Using low-tech passive strategies to reinforce sustainability, Live Work Home functions as a modern response to Syracuse’s concerns as a post-industrial American city.
Category Three: Multifamily Housing
Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson Apartments / David Baker + Partners Architects San Francisco, California
Richardson Apartments provides 120 permanent, supportive studio apartments for very-low-income formerly homeless residents, many with mental and physical disabilities. The sustainable infill development remediates the site of a demolished freeway with green homes, on-site social services, generous outdoor and common spaces, neighborhood-serving retail. The building massing and materials complement the eclectic neighborhood and incorporate sunshades, awnings, and alternating glass panels and board form concrete columns to create a dynamic facade. Local and reclaimed materials were used to make a building with a strong identity and sense of place.
Drawing inspiration from the surrounding mountains and Native American desert communities, Optima Camelview Village is a 700-unit mixed-use condominium development comprised of eleven interconnected, terraced, bridge-linked buildings that responds to the harsh desert climate of urban Scottsdale, Arizona by creating a pedestrian friendly environment of interconnected landscaped courtyards. Deep-layered shades, shadows, colors, textures and transparency along with overlapping and interconnected forms and voids create a diverse composition of space. Overhanging bridges and cantilevering landscaped terraces shade public pedestrian courtyards, creating shelter as a serene sanctuary from the southwest desert.
Category Four: Specialized Housing
Jesuit Community Center / Gray Organschi Architecture Fairfield, Connecticut
Aware of their special role as teachers and spiritual guides, the Jesuits sought a building that would not only provide for their own immediate needs, but might serve as an exemplar of ecological architecture. The apostolic center houses resident Jesuit priests and their guests, administrative offices, a chapel, community dining room, great room, and library. Throughout the project, design decisions aimed to optimize the building’s environmental performance. Ultimately, both traditional site and building design “best practices” and innovative environmental technologies serve to reduce both short and long term impact on the environment, helping the Jesuits to achieve their goal of acting as “good stewards of the Earth.”
Two new residential colleges are helping Rice University grow strategically while sustaining its signature campus culture. Seven buildings, designed in the collegiate quadrangle tradition, accommodate 650 students and faculty masters. They are woven together with shaded arcades and existing tree-lined walks, creating a careful composition and hierarchy of buildings and spaces and honoring the order of the original campus plan. While drawing inspiration from historic context, sustainability and innovation were key design drivers, including installation of custom prefabricated bathroom pods and the utilization of new construction strategies. Both colleges have earned LEED® Gold.
2012 Housing Awards Jury:
- Sandra A. LaFontaine, AIA, (jury chair) LaFontaine Architecture and Design, Worthington, Ohio
- Allison Arieff, New York Times, San Francisco
- Sara E. Caples, AIA, Caples Jefferson Architects, New York City
- Jerome King, FAIA, The Office of Jerome King
- San Jose, Calif. and Bill Moore, AIA, Sprocket Design Build, Inc., Denver