Ten Coolest Projects of 2008

This 1968 tract house underwent a serious makeover, yet still complements the neighborhood and maintains a respectful scale.
Architect: Reader Swartz  Builder: David L. Goode

The existing studs and gable ends of the home's south elevation were stripped and repurposed to form a wall of exposed bookshelves.
Architect: Reader Swartz Builder: David L. Goode

What do you do with a brick and concrete building the length of a football field in the middle of the Sonoran desert? This former ice and cold storage facility (built in 1923) now houses 48 industrial-style lofts.
Architect: Rob Paulus Architect Contractor: Caliber West Developer: Deep Freeze Development

Exposed brick, massive wood beams, and riveted steel trusses give the interiors a garage vibe. The adaptive reuse of these and other materials kept 1,240 tons of concrete and 777 tons of brick out of the landfill.
Architect/Interior Designer: Rob Paulus Architect Contractor: Caliber West Developer: Deep Freeze Development

Talk about inspired infill. The challenge here was a 25-foot-wide-by-42-foot-deep lot with a steep slope in back.
Architect: Strachan Forgan Builder: Bradford Construction

The kitchen in this four-story residence is on the second floor. It opens onto a secluded outdoor space carved into the hillside in back.
Architect: Strachan Forgan Builder: Bradford Construction

This modern, eco-minded house keeps things simple, using no chemicals, carpets, tiles or paint. Fun features include floating blue silicon stair treads, recycled rubber sinks...
Architect: MINARC Builder: Lannen Construction

...and a kitchen island made of recycled tires wrapped in orange Corian, with hideaway bar stools.

Built on a teardown lot in an old growth neighborhood, this handsome, 3,800-square-foot Prairie-style home maintains a low profile.
Architect: GTM Architects Builder: Ebner Construction General contractor: homeowners

Inside, horizontal runs of cherry trim span walls and wrap corners, creating a continuous flow from one room to the next.
Architect: GTM Architects Builder: Ebner Construction General contractor: homeowners

With its crisp millwork and reclaimed wood plank floors, you might not guess this is a modular house that arrived on site 80 percent complete, ready to be stitched up.
Architect/interior designer: Looney Ricks Kiss Builder: Haven Custom Homes Developer: The St. Joe Company

Designed with empty nesters in mind, the plan includes generous display shelving for art and collectibles, built-in bunks for grandchildren, and plenty of natural light.
Architect/interior designer: Looney Ricks Kiss Builder: Haven Custom Homes Developer: The St. Joe Company

On the outside, this compact house looks like a modest, two-story residence.
Builder/Developer: SummerHill Homes Architect: Dahlin Group

Inside, however, it's actually three floors tall, with a large master suite tucked under the roof structure. The second level kitchen, family and dining zones feel equally roomy, thanks to oversized picture windows.
Builder/Developer: SummerHill Homes Architect: Dahlin Group

Wedged between commuter rail tracks and an elevated freeway, this unwanted patch of land was noisy, odd-shaped, and in serious need of brownfield remediation.
Architect: David Baker Partners Builder: Nibbi Brothers Developer: The Related Companies of California

Now it's home to an artful blend of affordable housing units with landscaped courtyards between the buildings.
Architect: David Baker Partners Builder: Nibbi Brothers Developer: The Related Companies of California

Located within walking distance of shops, food, culture, and mass transit, this LEED-silver project makes it easy to live car-free. The building stacks 150 stylish loft units atop 6,000 square feet of retail.
Builder: JE Dunn Architect: Mithun Developer: The Schuster Group

Interiors feature 10-foot ceilings, exposed ductwork, concrete pillars and killer views of the city. A subterranean garage includes reserved parking for bicycles and flex cars, along with stormwater management and CO2 monitoring systems.
Builder: JE Dunn Architect: Mithun Developer: The Schuster Group

The protective shell of this lakefront home comes by way of a standing-seam metal roof that wraps down two sides. Cut away that thick skin, however, and you discover a softer, warmer layer of horizontal red cedar.
Architect: Johnston Architects Builder: Schuchart Dow

The front entry offers an alluring peek-through to serene water views on the opposite side of the house.
Architect: Johnston Architects Builder: Schuchart Dow

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