Would you live in one of the ten best homes in America Architects reveal the spectacular properties that have wowed them in 2012American Institute of Architects handed out its annual awards to projects showcasing the best innovative design
What do Scottsdale, Arizona, Syracuse in upstate New York and the San Juan Islands off Washington have in common They are all home to some of the most architecturally inspiring addresses in the United States.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has handed out the 2012 Housing Awards to projects at the pinnacle of design, creativity and sustainability.
The jury recognized projects in four categories – custom-built homes for one family, large structures which sleep many individuals in their own apartments and specialized buildings such as community centers.
The ten homes selected were: The Nakahouse, a space-age home in the Hollywood Hills; Relic Rock, a luxury home in Scottsdale, Arizona; The Pierre, a strange stone inspired home in the San Juan Islands off Washington state; The Camelview Village, a futuristic condo complex in Scottsdale, Arizona; Hampden Lane House in Bethesda, Maryland; The Live Work Home in Syracuse, New York; the luxury Carmel residence in Carmel-by-Sea, California; a new Jesuit Community centre in Fairfield, Connecticut; new low-budget homes in San Francisco and new college halls of residence in Houston, Texas.
Otherwordly homestead: Optima Camelview Village is a 700-unit condominium development comprised of eleven buildings linked by bridges in Scottsdale, Arizona
Spiritual setting: The Arizona complex draws inspiration from the surrounding mountains and Native American desert communities
Sit back and relax in your surroundings: A lounge area in the Optima Camelview Village in Scottsdale
The American Institute of Architects was established 150 years ago and has more then 79,000 members.
The One and Two Family Custom Residences award focus on remodelling of homes for individual clients. The Carmel Residence in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California was completed by Dirk Denison Architects. The owners wanted to marry a space that worked with the beauty of the natural surroundings and the nearby Pacific Ocean.
All rooms flow from a central courtyard with nooks for the kitchen and office spaces. Areas are separated by screens of solid mahogany and steel which move to allow air and light to circulate throughout the home.
The Hampden Lane House in Bethesda, Maryland by architect Robert M. Gurney is a simple cube where all spaces are utilized. It stands out from others in the neighbor for its style – but nevertheless is an environmentally conscious project.
Nakahouse in Los Angeles, by XTEN Architecture, is an abstract remodel of a 1960s hillside house with fluid indoor – outdoor spaces. Its cantilevered terraces and stark monochrome interior – white steel, plaster and concrete along with deep black plaster walls – give it a futuristic look despite its glamorous location under the Hollywood sign.
Inspired by its surroundings: Located in Carmel Bay, California, the Carmel Residence was conceived around one central room
California dream: The home by the coast has niche spaces that hide the kitchen and bedrooms around a central area paneled in solid mahogany and glass sliding doors
The art of zen: The open plan nature of the Carmel property allows air and natural light to flow through the entire home
The Pierre on the San Juan Islands, Washington was created by Olson Kundig Architects. The owner”s desire to use stone throughout the home led to its name (pierre is stone in French). It was conceived as a bunker and is almost camouflaged by the nature which surrounds it.
Rock extrudes into the home, sitting at odds with more luxurious furnishings and fabrics used. Interior and exterior hearths are carved out of existing stone and the master bathroom sink and the powder room are fully carved out of the rock.
Relic Rock, another property in Scottsdale, Arizona was designed by DCHGlobal Inc. It is almost entirely sustainable – with the structure made of 99 per cent recycled steel. “Floating” floor plans mean that the rocks around and under the property have been untouched.
Cook + Fox Architects designed the Live Work Home in Syracuse, New York. The home was created as a small, modern loft – an ecologically sound space in response to America”s future housing needs that appeal directly to the environment in which they are built.
As Syracuse often has long, dark winters, the home is filled with skylight tubes and perforated screens that allow light to bounce.
Tranquil: Optima Camelview Village in Scottdale, Arizona uses greenery and water features to combat the desert heat
Room with a view: Nakahouse in Los Angeles is an abstract remodel of a 1960s hillside house
Go with the flow: The LA home is made from white steel, plaster and concrete with contrasting black plaster walls
“Multifamily housing” recognizes apartment and condominium design – for both public and private clients that include open and recreational space.
David Baker + Partners designed the Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco – 120 permanent, supportive studio apartments for low-income formerly homeless residents, many with mental and physical disabilities.
The site of the project is a demolished freeway that has been transformed with plenty of green space and local shops. The eclectic style also gives the homes a sense of common identity and place in the neighborhood.
Drawing inspiration from the surroundingmountains and Native American desert communities, Optima Camelview Village in Scottsdale, Arizona (by David Hovey & Associates Architect, Inc.) is made up of 700 separate condominiums linked by planted-draped bridges designed to fend off the harsh climate. It is easy to walk around with plenty of courtyards and jutting landscaped terraces creating serene shelter.
The special housing award by AIA is for the design of housing that fits a specific purpose – homes for the disabled, rehabilitation centers or domestic violence shelters.
Rice University in Houston, Texas enlisted Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company with Hopkins Architects to build McMurtry & Duncan Colleges.
The two buildings are home to 650 students and faculty, weaving squares and tree-lined paths with innovative design that blends with the more traditional buildings on campus.
Also outstanding in this category was the Jesuit Community Center in Fairfield, Connecticut by Gray Organschi Architecture. Encompassing administrative offices, a chapel, community dining room, great room, and library, the Jesuit community wanted a building that would reflect their goal of acting as “good stewards of the Earth”.
Star quality: The home, which sits right below the Hollywood sign, has several cantilevered terraces
Visionary: The Jesuit community center in Fairfield, Connecticut uses innovative technologies to reduce both short and long term impact on the environment
Building blocks: The Jesuit priests wanted their building to exemplify their goal as acting as good stewards of the earth
Good things in small packages: The LEED Platinum Live Work Home is an efficient, highly adaptable space designed as an urban infill prototype for shrinking cities in Syracuse, New York
The garage of the Syracuse home
Tres belle: Conceived as a bunker nestled into the rock, the Pierre – meaning French for stone – celebrates the materiality of the site
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
The floor planes leave native boulder formations and natural topography untouched
The interior of the Red Rock home in Arizona
San Francisco: Richardson Apartments provides 120 permanent, supportive studio apartments for very-low-income formerly homeless residents, many with mental and physical disabilities
Green living: The San Francisco homes have on-site social services, generous outdoor and common spaces, neighborhood-serving retail
Bethesda: Hampden Lane House is designed as a cube and is approximately 2200 square feet
Sleek: The flat roof provides an additional 1100 square feet of outdoor living space with views of treetops and the downtown Bethesda skyline
The house is intended to be more site sensitive, environmentally conscious, and to provide comfortable, efficient living spaces
No place like home; The exterior of the Bethesda home