IF ARCHITECT JONATHAN SEGAL relishes the challenge of designing for difficult sites, he must have jumped for joy when he saw the San Diego property where The Titan lofts now stand. It was a .02-acre infill parcel adjacent to a freeway with a steep drop at its rear.

“These throw-away lots are part of the fabric that make the city wonderful,” says Segal, who also served as developer and builder for the four-story rental building where apartments range from 600 to 1,000 square feet.

To squeeze the most out of a tight space and a tighter budget, Segal got rid of interior corridors and elevators. Each of the 22 lofts opens to the outside. Oversized windows and 18-foot ceilings add light and psychological space. Astreet-level garage and interior courtyard are icing on the cake. And the two-part façade of rusted steel paired with sleek glass is a work of art in itself.

CATEGORY: Lofts; ENTRANT / ARCHITECT / DEVELOPER / BUILDER / LAND PLANNER / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT / INTERIOR DESIGNER: Jonathan Segal, La Jolla, Calif.

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