With scores of contenders vying for the title, winning a project of the year distinction is no small feat. The judges chose this thoughtfully executed neighborhood because it offers the entire package—good site plan, diverse floor plans, interesting use of materials, and relationship with its environment.

Following the topography of the 5 ¼-acre site, 35 single-family houses are discreetly nestled within the curves of the land. Instead of trying to compete with the scenery, architect Jeffrey Berkus of BBG Architects blended the homes into the desert context.

Working with native stone and a Sonoran desert–inspired color palette, Berkus used natural textures and hues to reflect the surroundings. The homes' exterior style recalls a European village, with tumbled brick and stone accents, stucco cladding and ceramic roof tiles in warm earth tones, wooden shutters, and wrought-iron fencing.

The craftsmanship continues on the interior, with rustic, wood-beamed ceilings, limestone tile floors, custom commercial kitchens, and spa-like bathroom retreats.

Two floor plan options, ranging from 2,965 to 4,193 square feet and starting at $675,000, offer casual, great-room living and front and rear courtyard configurations for seamless indoor/outdoor entertaining. Any of the plans can be customized with optional casitas, outdoor fireplaces, pools and patios.

The neighborhood has a custom feel, thanks to a mix of elevations—some wide, some narrow—on the streetscape. Cladding materials also were varied to ensure that no two adjacent homes are identical.

Award: Residential project of the year/detached

Builder: CSE & Associates, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Developer: DMB Associates, Scottsdale

Architects: BBG Architects, Santa Ana, Calif.; Simpson Design Group (construction documents), Redwood City, Calif.

Land planners: Greey|Pickett, Scottsdale; BBG Architects, Santa Ana

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ, Los Angeles, CA.