STRADDLING RESIDENTIAL and industrial areas, the Railroad Spur Block live/work project blends residential scale with materials such as metal and thick-walled stucco that reference the site's industrial lineage. Philip Banta and Associates organized the five townhouse-style units around an entry courtyard and stacked the units for vertical stratification of work on the first level, office/live on the second, and sleep on the third. Built on a shoestring for $65 per square foot, the straightforward units have high ceilings and light-filled interiors.

Category: Live/Work; Entrant/Architect: Philip Banta and Associates Architecture, Emeryville, Calif.; Builder/ Landscape architect: Dream Builders, Emeryville; Developer: Proper Management, Emeryville