Since its inception, BUILDER has recognized visionary residential architects who took risks and created memorable communities with exemplary, forward-thinking planning and design.
Pioneering architects, such as Barry Berkus and Rodney Friedman, shaped production housing in the '70s and early '80s with volume spaces, asymmetrical designs, high-density single- and multifamily projects, and zero-lot-line designs.
In the '80s, Seaside and New Urbanist concepts turned the tide toward traditional forms and character. Duany Plater-Zyberk's groundbreaking designs became an alternative to the cul-de-sac plans.
In the '90s, a wave of high-end production housing took off. Buyers with fat stock portfolios had the cash for a custom home but not the time. Orange County, Calif., architects like Mark Scheurer and Robert Hidey created new floor plans and small-lot configurations, and experimented with new material mixes and intricately detailed elevations.
So what's next? In response to growth control measures, builders and architects will have to keep inventing ways to make small lots and clusters work. And towns and cities will be forced to respond by changing codes to allow for high-density and multifamily projects. "The cost and availability of land is causing developers to think about densities they would never have dreamed about 10 years ago," says architect Manny Gonzalez of the KTGY Group in Irvine, Calif., "let alone 25!"
According to Gonzalez, single-family home builders in his market are breaking ground on 40-unit-to-the-acre projects. "And three-story, single-family homes are becoming more common, and surprisingly acceptable, even in traditional single-story markets like Phoenix," Gonzalez notes.