The American Institute of Architects recently selected six projects as this year's best examples of single-family housing. They're all modern in design, site-responsive, and all integrate eco-friendly design and construction practices. They're outstanding examples of thoughtful design, and absolutely dream buildings to call home.
Pictured above, from left to right:
1. Eagle Ridge by Gary Gladwish Architecture: "Each part of the house was designed to accommodate the inevitable bad hips, knees, and back worn out from a lifetime of moving rocks, dirt, and plants for the artist’s own work. The program consists of a combined kitchen-dining-living area, study, master suite, art studio, and storage area, with the flexibility to add bedrooms or an apartment. The project uses some of the client’s favorite materials: old wood recycled from a 100-year-old barn demolished in eastern Washington, rusty steel for the siding, and moss and rocks salvaged from the building site. Large doors slide away to open the house to the expansive views, creating a living room in the woods. The entry garden bisects the house, creating two zones and bringing the site into the house and the eye out to the view. The 800-square-foot art studio and storage areas have been left raw to facilitate converting them to additional bedrooms at a later date."
2. Lake View Residence by Alterstudio Architecture LLP: "The site at Lake View, looking west over the Bright Leaf Preserve and up the Colorado River, was a powerful element in the design of this house for a family of four. They wanted a house that was simultaneously modern and intimate, expansive yet cozy... Visitors meander under a grove of ancient live oaks on the way to the front entry, framed by limestone, vertical cyprus, and verdant planting. Inside, an uninterrupted ceiling plane provides a surface for reflected lighting and creates a sense of continuity with the outdoors. A delicate window wall, accentuated by monolithic corner glazing, also connects the interior to the outdoors."
3. Halls Ridge Knoll Guest House by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson: "The master plan for this vacation retreat includes a workshop, the guesthouse, and a main residence, all anchored to the ridge-top setting with a series of massive stone walls and fireplace chimneys. The first building to be constructed is the guesthouse, which flanks the winding entry drive. A stone wall anchors the building to the sloping site and screens the house and pool. A simple timber-framed shed roof springs from the stone wall, supporting naturally weathered zinc roofing over cedar-clad volumes."
4. House in the Mountains by GLUCK+: "The east-west bar of the new structure houses three bedrooms and a garage; living, dining, and kitchen areas are contained in the north-south bar. Roof planes appear as native mountain meadows, making the structure practically invisible from the road above. These green roofs not only provide a super-insulated envelope but also preserve and highlight the original view from the existing house. Continuous clerestory windows wrap around the interior, screening out the road and revealing a spectacular mountain panorama. This clerestory creates a completely daylit space, with lighting necessary only at night."
• Read More: 2013 AIA Housing Awards