Merit Award - Park Houses at Playa Vista

With their “contemporary brownstone” aesthetic, the four-story Park Houses use steel, glass, and colorful cement (a bold palette not often seen in production building) to create a high-end, high-density community that reduces sprawl while maintaining the feeling of single-family homes.

Sustainability also plays a central role in the design. North-facing windows allow thermal siphoning and ventilation; hard surface floors provide heat gain on chilly nights, and south-facing windows maximize natural sunlight. Cross ventilation through window placement offers natural cooling.

Units share a common podium that houses garage space and utilities, but the living areas are separated by a six-foot code requirement—enough distance to make them feel like they stand on their own form. Unlike townhouses with common walls, this configuration allows for greater privacy, acoustical separation, and light. “The nice thing is that we were able to wrap light around each house instead of having a blind wall,” Berkus says. “At that high density, that's hard to do.” In addition, fourth-floor roof terraces provide outdoor space for entertaining and gardening.

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