It’s a common complaint that many new buildings erected in LA are boring, uninspired, and expected. Allow us to present evidence to the contrary.
The Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects has announced the winners of its design awards for homes and residential buildings. So, we’ve rounded up the winners (excluding those built outside of LA). They’re beautiful, creative, and clever.
From an apartment complex for disabled veterans in the Valley to a renovated Frank Gehry house in the Westside neighborhood of Sawtelle, the projects are the best in their field. They were designed by AIA | LA members and had to have originated after 2013.
“The program celebrates excellence in contemporary residential design at all scales and variations,” says AIA | LA. Winners were selected by a jury that included professional architects and planners, the editor-in-chief of
Interiors, and the president of the real estate firm, The Agency.
It costs less than $200,000 to design and build this
1,000-square-foot starter home, says architect Lehrer Architects. Pictured here is a rendering of a prototype equipped with skylights, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, solar panels, and rain barrels. Michael B. Lehrer, Nerin Kadribegovic, and Benjamin Lehrer
The IVRV House, designed by SCI-Arc, was built for an Army veteran and his family in South LA. What appears to be the front entry is actually a “thickened threshold” to an indoor/outdoor entry court with a large screen, the inside of which is coated in T102 “to capture and neutralize harmful particulates in the air.” Joshua White
The living spaces in this contemporary guest house “orient themselves to a courtyard and turn their back on an unsightly alley” located at the back of the compact lot. It was designed by Schmidt Architecture.
MU77 is built into a hillside in the Hollywood Hills. That location “provided strenuous challenges ... as it pushed the building downhill, over the ridge.” Arshia Architects says the 5,000-square-foot home, “mutes itself towards the intrusion of spectators on Mulholland Drive.”
Paul Vu, Brandon Vogts
Patrick Tighe Architecture played with geometric shaped-windows in designing this three-story home one block from the ocean in Redondo Beach.
This arty building in West Hollywood is home to very low-income, formerly homeless LGBT youth and people living with HIV and AIDS. It was designed by Patrick Tighe Architecture & John V. Mutlow Architects Inc.
Art Gray, Bran Arifin
Bestor Architecture says the strategy for this small lot development of 18 homes on .8 acres in Echo Park, called
Blackbirds, was “stealth density.” Two free-standing houses, for example, “are connected by flashing and the roofline creates the illusion of one house mass. Laure Joliet, Iwan Baan
Sheathed in some translucent materials, Cloverdale749 was designed by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architect. Measuring 10,500-square-feet, it “pushes again” density limits and was built to the lot’s full size.
The Elysian in Echo Park was formerly part of a Metropolitan Water District campus designed by modernist architect William Pereira. It was converted to apartments by David Lawrence Gray Architects, which added 13 new double height penthouses to the top. Geoff Captain
In remodeling and expanding this 1960s, midcentury home in Studio City, Assembledge+ employed a complimentary “simple, elegant” palette of materials.”
Dan Brunn Architecture renovated this Sawtelle home originally designed by Frank Gehry. Its statement features include a sculptural staircase and an open-air garden for meditation.
In a major remodel, AND studio opened up and expanded this 1970s home on Mulholland Drive to take better advantage of its hillside location and views.
Media Carrot Photography
An ORA-led remodel of this small, 1980s era home in Manhattan Beach included an asymmetric roof made of corrugated metal, Douglas fir beams, and knotty cedar boards.
Merit: Marina Tower model apartment in Long Beach, designed by Ted Hyman Nick Merrick, Hedrich Blessing Photographers
The “Rear Window House” is a “discreet yet “modern addition” to a remodeled old bungalow in Culver City. The Edward Ogosta Architecture-designed addition is a master suite with a laundry room and library.
In this affordable housing complex designed by Kevin Daly Architects, there are four, detached residential buildings arranged like puzzle pieces around a star-shaped courtyard.
Jacobschang Architecture designed this stuccco and cedar Hollywood home within a 30-year-old hedge of ficus trees.
Michael Wells Photography
Crest Apartments in Van Nuys was designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc. It holds 64 apartments for low-income renters and formerly homelesss veterans with disabilities. There’s a communal kitchen, lounge, and community garden on the ground floor.