More than just providing some measure of beauty, great architecture considers and addresses its environment. Whether it's a blazing summer sun, corrosive ocean air, or even traffic noise and neighbors, climate is often a definitive factor—and thus a defining element—in a home's final design. Instead of giving in to their surroundings, these projects met them head-on with attractive and effective solutions to combat their respective climate conditions.

Project: The Arbors, Las Vegas; Entrant/Architect: Walter J. Richardson, Newport Beach, Calif.; Builder: Stanton Construction, Las Vegas

Project: Gallegos residence, Santa Monica, Calif.; Entrant/Architect: David Forbes Hibert, Santa Monica; Builder: Tarantino Construction, Chatsworth, Calif.

SUN SCREEN: Utilizing deeply recessed windows and a stout system of privacy walls and trellised walkways, The Arbors (above) effectively shields its townhouse owners from the legendary Las Vegas sun. Residents enjoy shaded patios, while recessed clerestory windows (rather than heat-seeking skylights) add an extra light source for the open interiors of this 1984 merit award winner.
SUN SCREEN: Utilizing deeply recessed windows and a stout system of privacy walls and trellised walkways, The Arbors (above) effectively shields its townhouse owners from the legendary Las Vegas sun. Residents enjoy shaded patios, while recessed clerestory windows (rather than heat-seeking skylights) add an extra light source for the open interiors of this 1984 merit award winner.
BEACH BLOCKER: Concrete and titanium combine to create a street-side façade that blocks traffic noise and guards against sea air that could corrode this custom house (left) in Santa Monica, Calif., awarded Home of the Year in 2002. The contractor used a smooth plywood to build the concrete forms, resulting in only a few visible seams. The back of the house blows out to a dramatic ocean view.
BEACH BLOCKER: Concrete and titanium combine to create a street-side façade that blocks traffic noise and guards against sea air that could corrode this custom house (left) in Santa Monica, Calif., awarded Home of the Year in 2002. The contractor used a smooth plywood to build the concrete forms, resulting in only a few visible seams. The back of the house blows out to a dramatic ocean view.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV.