By BUILDER Magazine Staff.

Casa Del Maestro

Santa Clara, Calif.

Here's some brilliant social problem-solving: A school district in Santa Clara was hemorrhaging elementary school teachers, with an attrition rate that had increased by 300 percent, in large part because of a lack of affordable housing.

As a solution, the developer and architect created a 40-unit apartment complex. Architect Stan Braden of KTGY Group notes that it offers attractive, affordable rental housing to teachers.

These are no boring boxes, however. The Victorian-style exteriors are sympathetic with their simple, well-lit interiors. Community landscaping, bridges, and common areas create a bond between residents. When the units were first offered, a lottery drew more than 100 teachers applying for the 40 units.

The apartments range from 722 to 1,170 square feet, and rent from $650 to $1,090, less than half of the market rate. They were built on budget and on schedule, thanks in part to the use of surplus land donated by the school district and 100 percent capitalization through tax-exempt financing.

Category: Focus on affordability; Entrant/ Architect/Land Planner: KTGY Group, Irvine, Calif.; Builder: Douglas Ross Construction, Palo Alto, Calif.; Developer: Thompson Residential, Sausalito, Calif.; Landscape Architect: The Guzzardo Partnership, San Francisco; Interior Designer: Collinan Design, Mill Valley, Calif.

Wheatland Street Affordable Housing

Somerville, Mass.

Average cost of a single-family home in Somerville has hit $420,000, far out of reach of many would-be buyers. At the time this project was built a year ago, only about 8 percent of units in Somerville qualified as affordable by HUD standards.

Photo: Alex Beatty Photography

Wheatland Street Affordable Housing Designed by Joseph Luna at a density of 32 units per acre, this project transformed an old piano parts factory into eight pleasant, well-lit, affordable residential units, including one studio apartment, a one-bedroom, a two-bedroom, and three, three-bedroom units. "We did get some HUD funding," notes Luna, "but these were income- restricted, owner-occupied units, not Section 8 homes. On the front side, we took the wall all the way down to the foundation and rebuilt, but we kept the concrete block structure intact on much of the rest of the unit. One wall we repointed, another we simply covered with a wood frame and siding."

Category: Focus on affordability; Entrant/ Architect: Luna Design Group, Lynnfield, Mass.; Builder: Ng Brothers Construction, Boston; Developer: Somerville Community Corp., Somerville, Mass.; Landscape Architect: Hancock Associates, Danvers, Mass.

8th & Alexander Townhomes

Charlotte, N.C.

Over the last 30 years, the area around 8th and Alexander streets in Charlotte, N.C., had "evolved into a dilapidated slum," according to architect David Furman. With the introduction of this six-unit townhouse, the neighborhood got a much-needed upgrade, in keeping with the intent of the local Housing Authority. The Authority had developed a public/private partnership and master plan using $41 million in grant money.

Photo: Tim Buchman Photography

8th & Alexander Townhomes The concept: Revitalize streetscapes by offering partially subsidized units that also appeal to market-rate buyers. The design includes front porches where people can both relax and keep an eye on the street. Behind the units, private courtyards and small parking lots give residents much needed privacy.

Priced between $87,000 and $130,500, the units range in size from 1,080 to 1,425 square feet, and cost $68 per square foot, putting them well within the reach of many lower-income buyers.

Category: Focus on affordability; Entrant/Architect: David Furman Architecture, Charlotte, N.C.; Builder: Saussy-Burbank, Charlotte; Developer: Bank of America, Charlotte; Landscape Architect: Design Resource Group, Charlotte

Baker Residence

Park City, Utah

Photo: Laurie E. Dickson

Baker Residence The stylistically progressive exterior of this 5,800-square-foot custom home combines a barrel roof, standing seam zinc roofing, stone walls, and mahogany siding to dramatic effect in a playfully modern interpretation of a mountain retreat. Category: Exterior; Entrant/Architect: Charles Cunniffe Architects, Aspen, Colo.; Builder: Morgan Builders, Park City, Utah; Landscape Architect: Garr Campbell, Salt Lake City

Waterstone Residence

Boulder, Colo. This 3,970-square-foot spec house takes the rural farm complex grid and tucks in contemporary angled corners and courtyards to appeal to empty-nesters.

Photo: Foto Imagery/Tim Murphey

Waterstone Residence The public spaces orient toward mountain views while recalling vernacular styles like silos and barns. The play of materials emphasizes the organic add-on growth of the traditional farmstead. In addition to winning a special focus award for its exterior, the project also won for its kitchen. The exposed structural trusses and collar ties allow for full-height volumes and add animation to an otherwise cool, spare kitchen. Accents of pale ochre paint and rich custom cabinetry warm the stainless steel appliances, Italian quartzite countertop, and slate flooring.

Categories: Exterior and Kitchen; Entrants: Arch 11, Boulder, Colo., and Hammerwell, Boulder; Builder/Developer: Hammerwell, Boulder; Architect: Arch 11, Boulder

Santaluz Casitas, Lumina

Santaluz, Calif.

Tour any water town, and you'll note that many of the street-side faccedil;ades of turn-of-the-century beauties are rather plain.

Photo: Lance Gordon Photography

Santaluz Casitas Approach the same homes from the water, they'll take your breath away. That's the idea behind the faccedil;ade of this 2,180-square-foot Santa Barbara-style production home. With a low wall wrapping its forecourt, the home turns its best face toward the golf course. Category: Exterior; Entrant/Architect: Robert Hidey Architects, Irvine, Calif.; Builder: Taylor Woodrow Homes, Irvine; Landscape Architect: Forsum, Summers & Murphy, Dana Point, Calif.

River House

Bath Springs, Tenn.

This 1,500-square-foot riverside retreat showcases the concept of privacy and livability for interior occupants as well as porch dwellers: The porch is 21 inches below the main house level to allow unobstructed views from inside.

Photo: Sweeney South Commercial Photography

River House The angled porch-side exterior wall pushes the porch from 4 feet to 10 feet, affording owners privacy from neighbors on one side. Concrete piers, fiber cement siding, and a Galvalum roof make this second home a cinch to maintain. Category: Exterior; Entrant/Architect: Looney Ricks Kiss, Memphis, Tenn.; Builder: Stricklin Construction, Decaturville, Tenn.

Gunnison Residence

Gunnison County, Colo.

A new house or a working cattle ranch? It's hard to tell the origins of this Old West-style homestead.

Photo: David O. Marlow

Gunnison Residence With its mortise and tenon timber-frame construction, Colorado buff sandstone, and dry-stacked stonework, the home connects effortlessly with its environment and provides a romantic link to the past. Category: Exterior; Entrant/Architect: Charles Cunniffe Architects, Aspen, Colo.; Builder: RCK Builders, Evergreen, Colo.

Moss Brook Estates North, The Nelson

San Antonio

Designed to be an elegant showpiece, the exterior of this 3,417-square-foot production home rediscovers grand traditional style with its leaded glass entry door, painted wrought iron rails, and a transom window. Deep- colored, well-proportioned shutters accentuate the taupe stucco and almond trim. The interior three-story stairwell leading to a private loft and cupola give the sophisticated faccedil;ade a hint of light-filled interiors.

Category: Exterior; Entrant/Builder/Developer/Architect: Medallion Homes, San Antonio

Fisher Residence

Wilmette, Ill.

Photo: Hedrich-Blessing

Fisher Residence A narrow lot demanded a vertical solution for this 6,500-square-foot custom home. The dramatic exterior boasts generous windows topped by subtle overhangs and a warm combination of indigenous Lamin stone, stained red cedar, and stucco. Category: Exterior; Entrant/Architect: Morgante-Wilson Architects, Chicago; Builder: Ted & Son Construction, Park Ridge, Ill.; Landscape Architect: Schloss Co., Morton Grove, Ill.

Private Residence, Indoor/Outdoor Bath

West Tisbury, Mass.

Techniques borrowed from the centuries-old craft of boat building help this 10-by-10 bathroom live larger and more efficiently on its small footprint. The bath design melds curving lines, shiplap teak siding, slate flooring, and tumbled stone to provide the sensory experience of bathing outdoors.

Category: Bathroom; Entrant/Architect/Interior Designer: Mark Hutker & Associates Architects, Vineyard Haven, Mass.; Builder: Andrew A. Flake Inc., Vineyard Haven

Casa Grande

La Grange, Texas

The ecology-conscious can appreciate the creative and extensive use of salvage objects in this 3,000-square-foot custom home. The master bath, with its hand-hewn posts and beams and faucet handles crafted from welded iron figures discovered in Mexico, is warm and artistic. The hand-carved Canterra stone lavatories are set into a 1/2-inch plate steel countertop atop a recycled timber stand.

Category: Bathroom; Entrant/Builder: Shroyer Construction, La Grange, Texas; Architect/Interior Designer: Dos Lagos Design, La Grange

Photo: Greg Wilson Photography

Volamoura at Lakewood Ranch

Volamoura at Lakewood Ranch, Villa Toscana

Bradenton, Fla.

This production home's gallery hall embodies dramatic architecture with its barrel ceiling. Pendant lighting and uplights tucked behind crown molding provide ample light, while the arch-shaped window adds visual interest to an often-overlooked area.

Category: Interior detail; Entrant/Builder: Gibraltar Homes, Sarasota, Fla.; Architect: Spencer Design Group, Orlando, Fla.; Interior Designer: Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Winter Park, Fla.

The Madison at SoHo

Tampa, Fla.

Market-rate rentals with loft-style flair showcase black-and-white checkerboard floors, maple cabinetry, black appliances, and exposed ceilings. The unique difference in these units includes renter's ability to customize the paint colors, giving "rental-grade cream" a run for its money.

Category:Interior detail; Entrant/Architect: Urban Studio Architects, Tampa, Fla.; Builder: Hardin Construction Group, Tampa; Interior Designer: Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Winter Park, Fla.

Live Together III


Multiple colors and types of wood layer detail and order into a modern open floor plan. Using wood as a texture carries through to the ceiling in the dining room, where drywall gives way to warm natural and man-made patterned sheets of wood.

Category: Interior detail; Entrant/Builder: Mitsui Home Co., Tustin, Calif.; Architects: Mitsui Home Design Institute, Tokyo; Mitsui Home Co., Tustin; Aztl, Yokohama, Japan; Interior Designer: Mutsuko Shimizu, Osaka, Japan

Photo: John Bare and Associates

Lighthouse at the Boardwalk

Lighthouse at the Boardwalk

Huntington Beach, Calif.

The Spanish-style theme of this production home is notable in the home's handsome dark-stained maple staircase with Maliable Iron rail. A deep-toned rug runner preserves the wood look and serves as an acoustic buffer.

Category: Interior detail; Entrant/Architect: Bassenian/Lagoni Architects, Newport Beach, Calif.; Builder: Christopher Homes, Newport Beach; Interior Designer: Saddleback Interiors, Corona del Mar, Calif.

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