Sometimes, especially in attached housing, you take what the land gives you—a truism that these two projects embraced with smart planning that delivered impressive results and value. Both effectively create comfortable and attractive “mini-villages” that are appropriate to their environments and intelligently take advantage of views and natural amenities while avoiding any semblance of suburbia. They also employ place-appropriate materials, giving them instant credibility and authenticity. The fact that these two projects were developed a continent and nearly 20 years apart bears witness to the fact that smart land planning is still alive and well.

Project: The Sentinels, San Diego; Entrant/Architect/Land planner: Scheurer Architects, Newport Beach, Calif.; Builder: Baywood Development, Newport Beach

Project: Windward Harbor, Centre Harbor, N.H.; Entrant/Land planner: Matarazzo Design, Concord, N.H.; Architect: Claude Miquelle Associates, Melrose, Mass.; Developer/Builder: Windward Harbor Co., Centre Harbor

THE ANTI-SUBURB: “The Sentinels is not a suburban solution,” stated the builder of this 80-unit hillside community (above) in San Diego, the 2002 Project of the Year. The plan sacks the cul-de-sac concept in favor of eight-unit clusters that set detached homes 10 feet apart to minimize land use; preserve views, lifestyle, and a high level of privacy; and create the feel of a family hacienda. Rustic materials and a range of rooflines and floor plans helps create an ample and attractive motor court in the center of each cluster.
THE ANTI-SUBURB: “The Sentinels is not a suburban solution,” stated the builder of this 80-unit hillside community (above) in San Diego, the 2002 Project of the Year. The plan sacks the cul-de-sac concept in favor of eight-unit clusters that set detached homes 10 feet apart to minimize land use; preserve views, lifestyle, and a high level of privacy; and create the feel of a family hacienda. Rustic materials and a range of rooflines and floor plans helps create an ample and attractive motor court in the center of each cluster.
SMART SOLUTION: Instead of cramming these resort duplexes and single-family cottages (left) up against the shores of New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee, the land planner set them back in a semicircle across the rim of the 36-acre property, giving each an unobstructed lake view and easy access to the beachfront—a solution that earned Windward Harbor the 1984 Project of the Year award.
SMART SOLUTION: Instead of cramming these resort duplexes and single-family cottages (left) up against the shores of New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee, the land planner set them back in a semicircle across the rim of the 36-acre property, giving each an unobstructed lake view and easy access to the beachfront—a solution that earned Windward Harbor the 1984 Project of the Year award.

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