Architecture

AIA Housing Awards highlights best new American homes

AIA Housing Awards highlights ...
Loom House involved the sustainable renovation of a home and office. It produces more energy than it requires via solar panels, and rainwater is captured and reused. It's one of 10 homes to feature in this year's AIA Housing Awards
Loom House involved the sustainable renovation of a home and office. It produces more energy than it requires via solar panels, and rainwater is captured and reused. It's one of 10 homes to feature in this year's AIA Housing Awards
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Adohi Hall was designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates and is located in the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. The project was recognized in Category 4 - Specialized Housing
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Adohi Hall was designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates and is located in the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. The project was recognized in Category 4 - Specialized Housing
Adohi Hall draws its name from the Cherokee phrase adohi, which translates to woods or timber. It consists of a new residence for 700 students that's made from sustainably sourced cross-laminated timber. The buildings are designed as an extension of the surrounding landscape and offer generous glazing, framing the views
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Adohi Hall draws its name from the Cherokee phrase adohi, which translates to woods or timber. It consists of a new residence for 700 students that's made from sustainably sourced cross-laminated timber. The buildings are designed as an extension of the surrounding landscape and offer generous glazing, framing the views
Bastion Community was designed by Office of Jonathan Tate and is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The project was recognized in Category 4 - Specialized Housing
3/20
Bastion Community was designed by Office of Jonathan Tate and is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The project was recognized in Category 4 - Specialized Housing
Bastion Community is a specialized 58-unit development for civilians and veterans. It has been designed to withstand severe flooding and also collects and filters rainwater. Each of the residential units consists of two attached dwellings that face another unit, creating an open court shared by four sets of neighbors.
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Bastion Community is a specialized 58-unit development for civilians and veterans. It has been designed to withstand severe flooding and features rainwater collection and filtration systems. Each of the residential units consists of two attached dwellings that face another unit, creating an open courtyard that encourages socializing
Edwin M. Lee Apartments was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and is located in San Francisco, California. The project was recognized in Category 3 - Multifamily Housing
5/20
Edwin M. Lee Apartments was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and is located in San Francisco, California. The project was recognized in Category 3 - Multifamily Housing
Edwin M. Lee Apartments provides homes for low-income families and veterans in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood. It features a colorful design and is partly powered by a large solar panel canopy. The development consists of 120 apartments, and has a central courtyard for socializing and recreation
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Edwin M. Lee Apartments provides homes for low-income families and veterans in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood. It features a colorful design and is partly powered by a large solar panel canopy. The development consists of 120 apartments, and has a central courtyard for socializing and recreation
Independence Library and Apartments was designed by John Ronan Architects and is located in Chicago, Illinois. The project was recognized in Category 3 - Multifamily Housing
7/20
Independence Library and Apartments was designed by John Ronan Architects and is located in Chicago, Illinois. The project was recognized in Category 3 - Multifamily Housing
Independence Library and Apartments combines a library and 44 units of affordable apartments for seniors. The project has received the LEED Gold green building standard for its energy efficiency. It was also designed to be constructed quickly, with the library's precast facade being erected in just one day
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Independence Library and Apartments combines a library and 44 units of affordable apartments for seniors. The project has received the LEED Gold green building standard for its energy efficiency. It was also designed to be constructed quickly, with the library's precast facade being erected in just one day
LeanToo was designed by Nick Deaver and is located in Austin, Texas. The project was recognized in the One and Two Family Custom Residences category
9/20
LeanToo was designed by Nick Deaver and is located in Austin, Texas. The project was recognized in the One and Two Family Custom Residences category
LeanToo involved the renovation and extension of a home originally built in 1936. It has been opened up to the outside and care has been taken to retain existing trees that shade the home and garden
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LeanToo involved the renovation and extension of a home originally built in 1936. It has been opened up to the outside and care has been taken to retain existing trees that shade the home and garden
Loom House was designed by Miller Hull Partnership, LLP and is located in Bainbridge Island, Washington. The project was recognized in the One and Two Family Custom Residences category
11/20
Loom House was designed by Miller Hull Partnership, LLP and is located in Bainbridge Island, Washington. The project was recognized in the One and Two Family Custom Residences category
Loom House involved the sustainable renovation of a home and office. It produces more energy than it requires via solar panels, and rainwater is captured and reused. It's one of 10 homes to feature in this year's AIA Housing Awards
12/20
Loom House involved the sustainable renovation of a home and office. It produces more energy than it requires via solar panels, and rainwater is captured and reused. It's one of 10 homes to feature in this year's AIA Housing Awards
Portage Bay Float Home was designed by Studio DIAA and is located in Seattle, Washington. The project was recognized in the One and Two Family Custom Residences category
13/20
Portage Bay Float Home was designed by Studio DIAA and is located in Seattle, Washington. The project was recognized in the One and Two Family Custom Residences category
Portage Bay Float Home began as a renovation and became a new home due to the poor state of the original. Its replacement fits in well with the surrounding neighborhood and doesn't disturb the view of Seattle's Lake Union for neighbours, while its interior offers a modern energy efficient design
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Portage Bay Float Home began as a renovation and became a new home due to the poor state of the original. Its replacement fits in well with the surrounding neighborhood and doesn't disturb the view of Seattle's Lake Union for neighbours, while its interior offers a modern energy efficient design
Arroyo Affordable Housing was designed by KoningEizenberg Architecture and is located in Santa Monica, California. The project was recognized in Category 4 - Specialized Housing
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Arroyo Affordable Housing was designed by KoningEizenberg Architecture and is located in Santa Monica, California. The project was recognized in Category 4 - Specialized Housing
Arroyo Affordable Housing offers low-income housing that has received the LEED Platinum green building standard for its energy efficient design. This includes stormwater management, passive cooling and shading
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Arroyo Affordable Housing offers low-income housing that has received the LEED Platinum green building standard for its energy efficient design. This includes stormwater management, passive cooling and shading
Tsuga Townhomes was designed by Wittman Estes and is located in Seattle, Washington. The project was recognized in Category 2 - One- and two-family production homes
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Tsuga Townhomes was designed by Wittman Estes and is located in Seattle, Washington. The project was recognized in Category 2 - One- and two-family production homes
Tsuga Townhomes consists of three homes built on an awkward cramped site using high-quality materials. They also feature green roofs and water capture systems
18/20
Tsuga Townhomes consists of three homes built on an awkward cramped site using high-quality materials. They also feature green roofs and water capture systems
Walk-Street House was designed by ras-a studio and is located in Hermosa Beach, California. The project was recognized in the One-and two-family custom residences category.
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Walk-Street House was designed by ras-a studio and is located in Hermosa Beach, California. The project was recognized in the One-and two-family custom residences category.
Walk-Street House Beach is a family home located near the beach. It has a novel mechanical parking elevator that fits two cars into a small space and is naturally cooled by the ocean breeze
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Walk-Street House Beach is a family home located near the beach. It has a novel mechanical parking elevator that fits two cars into a small space and is naturally cooled by the ocean breeze
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The prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA) has revealed the recipients of its annual Housing Awards. 2021's selection of outstanding homes includes a house and office that have received an energy efficient renovation, and a beach house that meets awkward zoning requirements while maximizing living space inside.

Now in its 21st year, the 2021 Housing Awards consists of 10 projects, which is an increase from the seven highlighted last year. The projects are split into four categories: one- and two-family custom residences, one- and two-family production homes, multifamily housing, and specialized housing.

As in previous years, the recipients have been chosen by five AIA jurors, who have selected the projects based on their overall design excellence. Additionally, the jurors have evaluated whether the homes are "sustainable, affordable, durable, innovative, socially impactful, meeting client needs as well as addressing the natural and built contexts."

We've chosen a couple of standout projects below that caught our eye, but be sure to head to the gallery to see more on these and each of the other homes in the 2021 Housing Awards.

Loom House was designed by Miller Hull Partnership, LLP and is located in Bainbridge Island, Washington. The project was recognized in the One and Two Family Custom Residences category
Loom House was designed by Miller Hull Partnership, LLP and is located in Bainbridge Island, Washington. The project was recognized in the One and Two Family Custom Residences category

Loom House, by Miller Hull Partnership, is located in Bainbridge Island, Washington. The project consists of a family home and office that are situated on a choice spot on a cliff overlooking Puget Sound.

The owners were very keen to ensure the home was made as energy efficient as possible. The painstaking renovation ensured that electricity use was minimized with a focus on using natural light and ventilation instead of powered systems. And all of the property's power needs are now met by solar panels. Rainwater is also captured and reused for irrigation. The owners even grow their own food.

The interior has been reconfigured so it's more open and maximizes the views of the stunning landscape, with a little-used garage turned into a new living area.

"This renovation is intentional and thoughtful across the board, seamlessly integrating new and old," says the jury. "This shows that design can be beautiful and meet the Living Building Challenge [a green building standard]. The project uses principles of sustainability in a didactic way and considered environmental outcomes beyond the site. This project takes it as its mission to model environmental performance for the community and offers larger lessons for the field."

Walk-Street House Beach is a family home located near the beach. It has a novel mechanical parking elevator that fits two cars into a small space and is naturally cooled by the ocean breeze
Walk-Street House Beach is a family home located near the beach. It has a novel mechanical parking elevator that fits two cars into a small space and is naturally cooled by the ocean breeze

Walk-Street House is located in Hermosa Beach, California, almost a literal stone's throw from the ocean. The clients sought a rebuild of their existing 1950s bungalow that made the most of limited living space in an awkward plot.

One major issue was a strict local zoning law, which requires that all homes include a two-car garage. Accommodating this would have awkwardly split the home's living spaces between multiple levels, but designer ras-a studio found a clever solution: instead installing a mechanical parking lift that can stack two cars in the footprint of just one (alas, no photos of this are provided).

Elsewhere, the home features a deck area that serves as both a front porch and outdoor recreation room for the family, while a patio helps open it up to the outside and be naturally cooled by the sea breeze.

"Very nice climate-specific home with beautiful details and attention to context," notes AIA's jury. "The materials capture and reflect sunlight and breezes, flooding the interiors with a connection to this beachside community. The erosion of the walls between interior and exterior reinforce the openness in the floor plan."

Source: AIA

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3 comments
3 comments
WB
For Bastion - what cruel architect would leave out all the windows. These dudes should be forced to live in the stuff they create.
BlueOak
Not a particularly inspiring year.
ljaques
I think they pick the worst to give awards to, in hopes they'll turn into better architects in the years to come. I HAVE to believe that. Nobody sane would pick most of these pickle barrels otherwise.