The BUILDER - Wm. S. Marvin Hall of Fame for Design Excellence is produced by BUILDER magazine and sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors.
The BUILDER - Wm. S. Marvin Hall of Fame for Design Excellence is produced by BUILDER magazine and sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors.

ARCHITECT RICK SUNDBERG IS the first to admit that designing a collection of 10 contemporary, affordable homes for Habitat for Humanity was a challenge. Not the contemporary part; once the nonprofit (surprisingly) signed off on the idea, Sundberg had no trouble coming up with something edgy. It was the affordable end of the equation that gave him pause. “It

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was a huge pleasure working for Habitat, but it had been many years since I had designed anything that approached affordable,” says the Seattle architect. “It exercised parts of my brain that needed some dusting off.”

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Sundberg cut costs by using conventional windows, but he put them in unexpected spots to break up the massing. That's straightforward Hardiplank on the exterior, but the architect mixed up the placement—larger battens here, narrower applications there—to give the homes some added interest. “We wanted the houses to have some liveliness to them,” he says. Mission accomplished.

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Category: Focus on affordability; Entrant/Architect: Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, Seattle; Builder/Developer: Habitat for Humanity of Seattle, Tukwila, Wash.; Land planner: Callison Architecture, Seattle; Landscape architect: Allworth Nussbaum, Seattle; Interior designer: NBBJ, Seattle

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Seattle, WA.