San Francisco—The winners of the 2012 Gold Nugget Awards for design and planning competition were announced recently at the Gold Nugget Awards Luncheon at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, and the winners included a number of multifamily housing designs. Now in its 49th year, the awards honor achievement in architectural design and land use planning for residential, commercial and industrial projects. Drawing entries from the 14 western states and internationally, the awards program is the centerpiece of the annual PCBC regional trade show and conference.
In the category of Multifamily Housing Project (for sale or rent) under 15 units per acre, Sunset Walk in Issaquah Highlands, Wash., took the Grand Award. Developed by Pulte Homes and designed by Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, “this townhome community site plan did a smart job offering localized green spaces and paseos to personalize each home’s entry encounter,” noted the judges, a panel of six design experts who screened 456 entries all together.
Via (pictured, top), won a Grand Award for best Mixed Use Project. It also received a Merit in the category of Multi-Family Housing Project – 30 to 50 du/acre (For Sale or Rent). Via is a GreenPoint Rated, transit-oriented, mixed-use community in Sunnyvale, Calif., which has a grocery-anchored shopping center and 284 luxury apartments. Essex Property Trust (NYSE: ESS) is the developer/owner. KTGY was the architect/designer. Community amenities include a resort-style pool and spa, wireless internet, cyber café, fitness center, resident clubroom, bocce ball court, putting green, outdoor kitchen and fire pits, Zen-styled courtyards and a dog walk.
In the category Multifamily Housing Project between 15 units and 30 units per acre, two projects took Grand Awards: Los Portales in Santa Barbara and Latitude 33—Beach Collection. The former, which will achieve LEED platinum, was developed by City Ventures and designed by William Hezmalhalch Architects. The latter was developed by Standard Pacific Homes and designed by Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh.
For multifamily projects between 30 units and 50 units per acre, 1838 Ogden Drive in Burlingame, Calif., took the Grand Award honors. Mills Ogden Villa LLC. developed the property, while Levy Design Partners designed it. “A favorite detail of the jury were the copper-sheathed chimneys that collected the fireplace flues,” the judges said.
For the really large multifamily developments—over 50 units per acre—the Grand Award winner was Ultima, in Vancouver, BC. Adera Development Corp. developed the property and Rositch Hemphill and Associates designed it. “Architectural references abound, from Wright to Reston,” the judges noted, “yet the community embodies an emerging Northwest nomenclature. The highly contextual exterior encloses super-chic and ultra-urban interiors. It’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
The Grand Award winner for an affordable housing project of 15 units to 30 units per acre was Riverwalk in San Diego, developed by the Affirmed Housing Group and designed by Studio E Architects. “Reclaiming a blighted creek that bisects the community, the site plan encourages interaction with a public trail system and empowering architecture,” the judges said. “Dormers, bay windows and color add an additional level of scale and care.”
Devine Legacy, a Phoenix property, took home the Grand Award for affordable projects over 30 units per acre. It was developed by Native American Connections and designed by Pyatok Architects Inc.
Besides bestowing Grand Awards, the Golden Nugget judges honored a number of other properties in all categories with Awards of Merit. To cite only one of many examples, in affordable projects between 15 units and 30 units per acre, Doria Apartment Homes in Irvine, Calif., and Bonterra Apartment Homes in Brea, Calif., garnered a Gold Nugget Award of Merit. Both projects were developed by Jamboree Housing Corp. and designed by KTGY.
Doria Apartment Homes, which was built by Wermers Multi-Family Corp., provides workforce housing to 60 families, with 10 units set aside for residents who receive services through the Mental Health Services Act. Completed in less than 10 months, the Spanish Colonial-style architecture integrates with the surrounding Stonegate community of Irvine.