AIA Top 10 Housing Awards – Part II

AIA Top 10 Continues – Multifamily Housing & Specialized Housing

The American Institute of Architects has selected 10 top new American homes for the 2014 Housing Awards. Yesterday we focused on single-family homes. Today the awards we feature the multifamily and specialized housing categories.

These brief descriptions from AIA provide a view of the projects. Should you wish to learn more about these projects, click on the name of the project/firm name.

Multifamily Living
“The Multifamily Housing award recognizes outstanding apartment and condominium design. Both high- and low-density projects for public and private clients were considered. In addition to architectural design features, the jury assessed the integration of the building(s) into their context, including open and recreational space, transportation options and features that contribute to livable communities.”

AIA 6 1221 Broadway

1221 Broadway; San Antonio
Lake|Flato Architects

“This project has served as a catalyst for nearby urban redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization. Along with the complete makeover of an abandoned superstructure, passive solutions, including open breezeways carefully oriented to cool the circulation corridors, came with understanding San Antonio’s local climate. The project design reflects a common sense and regional response to climatic conditions. The project achieved a HERS index of 68, performing 32% better than a new multi-family project built to code. Its energy use intensity (EUI) is 30% better than the national average for large multi-family project types.

AIA 7 Cherokee Studios
Cherokee Studios; Los Angeles
Brooks + Scarpa

“The main architectural feature of this project is the building’s owner-controlled operable double façade system. By allowing the occupant to adjust the operable screens of the building façade, the facade is virtually redesigned “live” from within the space, reflecting the occupants of the building within, in real time. Cherokee is 40% more energy efficient than California’s Title 24, the most demanding energy code in the U.S. Passive solar design strategies and proper building orientation, using the central courtyard between the two residential structures, allows for day lighting on both sides of every unit and shading, while allowing prevailing breezes to fully pass through the units for natural ventilation. The green roof provides occupants the ability to enjoy nature while keeping the building better insulated, cleaning the air, and reducing storm water runoff.”

AIA 8 Merritt Crossing
Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments; Oakland, CA
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

“This project is a high-density residential development with a mix of studios; one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments that were thoughtfully fit into its downtown Oakland site between an inner city neighborhood and a freeway. The south side of the building facing the freeway has a layered façade that provides solar and acoustical mitigation while creating a varied experience for passing drivers. To control operating costs for the non-profit owner, the project was constructed for enhanced durability, weather protection and energy use. Dedicated to high environmental standards, the developer focused on healthy living and energy savings while electing to test a combination of sustainability rating systems.”

Specialized Housing
“The Special Housing award recognizes outstanding design of housing that meets the unique needs of other specialized housing types such as single room occupancy residences (SROs), independent living for the disabled, residential rehabilitation programs, domestic violence shelters, and other special housing.”

AIA 9 28th Street Apartments28th Street Apartments; Los Angeles
Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc.

“This project restores and adds to a distressed historic building (a former YMCA). The project now houses two synergistic programs run by two nonprofits that co-purchased the building: The neighborhood youth training and employment program and supportive housing (serving youth exiting foster care, the mentally ill and the chronically homeless.) Supportive services are offered on site and residents have access to a roof garden, laundry and lounge. The historic front entry of the structure forms a neighborhood porch where community kids gather while the new addition creates a less formal side entry to the housing units above. The existing historic building spawned an efficient urban strategy on a small vacant sliver of land on the back of the building to add square footage for new updated unit types while not triggering costly parking.”

AIA 10 Sweetwater Spectrum Community

Sweetwater Spectrum Community; Sonoma, CA
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

“In 2009, a group of families, autism professionals and community leaders founded the nonprofit organization Sweetwater Spectrum to meet the extraordinary need for appropriate, high-quality, long-term housing for adults with autism, offering life with purpose and dignity for residents. This project, created to be replicated nationwide, integrates autism specific design, universal design and sustainable design, and provides a permanent home for 16 adults with autism. Spaces were designed to reduce sensory stimulation (ambient sound, visual patterns, odors, etc.) and to create a simple, predictable domestic environment. Safety and security are paramount and healthy, durable materials are utilized throughout. Individuals may customize their personal living spaces to accommodate their preferences and particular needs.”

The jury for the 2014 Housing Awards includes: Nancy Ludwig, FAIA, Chair, ICON architecture, inc.; David Barista, Building Design+Construction; Louise Braverman, FAIA, Louise Braverman Architect and Jean Rehkeamp Larson, AIA, Rehkamp Larson Architects, Inc. For high resolution images, contact Matt Tinder.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being.  Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit

Source: AIA

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