EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, A MIXED-use project gets it just right, and that's certainly the case with this innovative restoration project in downtown Sacramento, Calif. What was once a 1920s automotive showroom and service facility is now a seismically correct building that features two award-winning Asian restaurants (ground floor), offices (second floor), and 18 one-of-a-kind lofts (third and fourth floors).

The best of the old building (warehouse-style windows, industrial brick, and concrete walls) blends well with the kinds of hip design elements (zinc, terrazzo, and cork flooring, for example) that forward-thinking urbanites have come to expect. “Even with the addition of a new fourth floor,” a judge remarked, “it was evident that the team was committed to preserving the original exterior and elements of the interior. This ... will be a local landmark for years to come.”

Award: Best renovated, restored single house or project; Builder: Walsh & Forster Construction, Sacramento, Calif.; Developer: LoftWorks, Gold River, Calif.; Architect: Ron Vrilakis Architects, Sacramento

Keith Cronan