By Carolyn Weber. Residential Community of the Year--Detached; Best Single-Family Detached Home--4,501 to 5,000 square feet (Residence One); Best Single-Family Detached Home--over 5,000 square feet (Residence Two)

Sensitivity to the land and the community were the keys to this top award winner, an infill project on a well-known historic estate property in Northern California.

The land planners were careful to preserve the natural shapes of the 19-acre site. A network of narrow, winding streets snakes its way around 200 old-growth trees, preserving a lush backdrop, which added great value. "There is a gradual slope from the front to the back of the site, so the grading had to be very gentle," says architect Adele Chang. "Only the home sites were graded to a pad."

To complement the surrounding established neighborhood, and pay homage to the former estate home, the architecture of the $1,625,000 to $2,000,000 units is very simple in its massing and scale. "We wanted the houses to fit right in and were sensitive to the neighbors' input," says Chang, who attended a series of design reviews with nearby residents who feared the "McMansionization" of their community. As a result, she went with more traditional colonial designs rather than the Mediterranean styles she had first intended.

Photo: Lance Gordon

The traditional colonial façade of Anoakia's 4,935-square-foot Residence One is in harmony with the architecture of the surrounding neighborhood. The various footprints work with the site, as the architect took great pains to ensure that they accommodate the trees. Several different garage configurations and step ups and downs within the plan, to deal with inconsistent grading, made construction more difficult. "There are only three floor plans, but they are all different because we had to tinker with the architecture on site due to changes in the topography," says builder Tom Hover.

Builder/Developer: Hover Development Co./Arcadia Oaks LLC, Newport Beach, Calif.; Architect: Lim Chang Rohling and Associates, Pasadena, Calif.; Land planner: The Keith Cos., Costa Mesa, Calif.