This theme manifested itself in many forms, from a Craftsman bungalow that tripled in size while miraculously retaining a low profile to an array of infill projects artfully stitched into historic neighborhoods. Even a 13,000-square-foot, postmodern palace in one of Los Angeles' toniest zip codes kept things subdued with its consistent use of building materials inside and out.
As America grows more crowded by the day—and showy McMansions become increasingly non grata in established neighborhoods—the burden is on builders, developers, and architects to think hard about context and clutter before the digging starts. Good design means inspired material choices, four-sided architecture, and sound craftsmanship, certainly. But it is also increasingly about mitigating less-than-attractive features such as utility boxes, curb cuts, and even cars. Indeed, several of this year's winners demonstrated downright genius in their parking solutions.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.