THERE'S A FEEL OF SOULFUL PERMANENCE to the Baywood Collection at Santaluz. It's as though the homes have been rooted in the ridge as long as the native expanses of desert grass and scrubby chaparral that pepper their views. Only modern-day materials and accoutrements belie their true age.

Santaluz is to be savored for its Pacific air and rugged topography—a sentiment Scheurer Architects and Baywood Development took to heart in cultivating their newest contribution to this 3,800-acre master planned golf course development north of San Diego. Maintaining continuity with the community's prevailing early California vernacular was imperative, as was embracing the land's rough-hewn appeal.

ARTFUL COMPOSITION: An antidote to big-box floor plans, Plan One, which garnered home of the year honors, is a medley of asymmetrical structures. With its clay tile roofing, iron balconies, and curved arcades, the 4,014-square-foot home evokes the region's early Spanish influences.
Photos by Eric Figge Photography ARTFUL COMPOSITION: An antidote to big-box floor plans, Plan One, which garnered home of the year honors, is a medley of asymmetrical structures. With its clay tile roofing, iron balconies, and curved arcades, the 4,014-square-foot home evokes the region's early Spanish influences.

To the project team's credit, the 37-acre parcel holds fast to its earthy good looks, thanks to an exceptionally site-sensitive neighborhood design. Dwellings are situated on circular building pads, featuring floor plans that pivot to optimize views and sun exposure. Stone walls, earthen palettes, and decomposed granite pathways make each plan feel like a natural outgrowth of the terrain.

The notion of a house as a living, growing entity is further underscored by organic architecture. Inspired by the traditional farmhouse concept of adding to a simple structure over time, Plans One and Two (priced at roughly $2 million) read as eclectic compositions of one- and two-story volumes. Stone and stucco elevations wrap around intimate loggias and courtyards, creating a fluid interplay of interior and exterior living spaces.

Best of all, the 16 irresistible abodes in the collection are varied by design. An array of flexible “outbuilding” options—including detached guest suites, extra garages, and open-air pool cabanas—allows each property to be personalized by its owners. As one juror was quick to note, “It's a great new prototype in neighborhood design that bridges the gap between production and custom architecture.”

ROOMS TO BREATHE: Narrow building forms promote cross-ventilation and maximize natural light while offering visual links to loggias, courtyards, and the landscape beyond.
ROOMS TO BREATHE: Narrow building forms promote cross-ventilation and maximize natural light while offering visual links to loggias, courtyards, and the landscape beyond.

Awards: Residential project of the year/detached (tie), home of the year, and grand award for best single-family detached home—4,001 to 4,500 square feet (conventional lot); Builder: Baywood Development, Newport Beach, Calif.; Architect: Scheurer Architects, Newport Beach; Land planner: Rick Engineering Co., San Diego

CIRCULAR LOGIC: Curvilinear site planning allows each home to make the most of native vegetation and spectacular views.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Diego, CA.