The winners of the Residential Architect Design Awards 2021

For 22 years, the Residential Architect Design Awards program has recognized the best in advancing home design. This year’s jury reviewed 266 entries to select outstanding examples of where the field is headed. The 21 winners – 12 Honor Award recipients, representing the highest level of achievement, and nine Merit Award recipients, representing outstanding achievement – shown on the following pages reflect the jury’s diverse selections, from heartfelt responses to the affordable housing crisis of the country to meaningful explorations of typologies addressing aging and co-living. As we rethink what housing can be, the 2021 RADA winners exemplify promising models for the future and aim to spark a conversation about how to improve housing for all.

Matthew Bremer, AIA, Architecture in Formation, New York
Charles Madrid III, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Los Angeles
Kimberly Sheppard, FAIA, Gabellini Sheppard Associates, New York
Ingrid Spencer, AIA Austin and Austin Foundation for Architecture, Austin, Texas

Prize winners

To see more photos and drawings, click the ARCHITECT Project Gallery links under each project category.

Nicholas Snyder – Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

New approaches to housing: care delivery
light path
Waverly, Dad.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

“This house takes the idea of ​​healthy living and accessibility and turns it into something beautiful in unexpected ways.” -Matthew Bremer

Paul Warchol

Customs office, less than 3,000 square feet
Manifold housing
Arlington, Va.
David Jameson Architect

‘This house doesn’t look like a house—and that’s a good thing. The interior is modest rather than opulent. The simplicity is refreshing.” —Carlos Madrid III

Douglas Sterling

Customs office, less than 3,000 square feet
Valley Rock Guesthouse
Sonoma, California.
Schwartz and architecture

“This is a piece of poetry – the essence of home, a pure expression of walls and roof merging into sculpture.” —Kimberly Sheppard

Casey Dunn

Custom House, Over 3,000 Square Feet
Highland Park Residence
Highland Park, Texas
Alterstudio Architecture

“If you’re going to design a super-sized house, make it beautifully grand, beautifully executed and in perfect mutual balance with the landscape.” —Matthew Bremer

Pernille Loof & Thomas Loof

Multi-family homes
The smile
New York
BIG–Bjarke Ingels Group

“This brilliant project is destroying New York City’s zoning code in the most amazing way. And it’s bringing light to the streets and enlivening it.” —Matthew Bremer

Here And Now Agency

Student Housing
Granville 1500
The Angels
Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

“There is a lot of focus on quality construction for such a large project. The bones are strong and can easily accept different furniture and decor to evolve into personalized temporary homes.” —Kimberly Sheppard

Mark Menjivar

Affordable housing
The Goat’s Heads
Marfa, Texas
Candid Rogers Studio

“Look at what 350 square meters as a stand-alone module get you! It’s solved beautifully: the interior is cheerful and the small screen porches with concrete blocks are quite amazing.” —Matthew Bremer

Joe Fletcher Photography

Restoration / Conservation
Moore House
The Angels
Forests + Dangaran

“The architects respect the original house, retaining its uniqueness and design essence, while breathing new life and functionality into it.” —Kimberly Sheppard

Casey Dunn

wine cave
Texas Hill Country
Clayton Short

“This project is like an adult playhouse or a secret hideout – with wine! It’s a refined intervention in a carved cave.” —Ingrid Spencer

Ema Peter Photography

Architectural Design Detail
Courtyard house
Vancouver, British Colombia
Leckie Studio Architecture + Design

“The palette, details and composition of this house are impeccably sublime.” —Carlos Madrid III

thanks to LS3P

On the shelves
Passage Home Affordable housing
Raleigh, North Carolina

“This well-researched project addresses issues of displacement and provides design solutions that fit the neighborhood.” —Ingrid Spencer

© Tom Holdsworth

New approaches to housing: cohabitation
13th Street Sanctuary
Washington, DC

“The amount of zoning and building code gym itself makes co-living an exciting design typology, and this ambitious project sets the dial for something that is transformational.” —Matthew Bremer

Winners of the Merit Award

To see more photos and drawings, click the ARCHITECT Project Gallery links under each project category.

Great Lakes Hut
Kyle Chappell
Great Lakes Hut

New approaches to housing: prefabrication
Great Lakes Hut
Georgian Bay, Ontario
Leckie Studio Architecture + Design

“The amount of zoning and building code gym itself makes co-living an exciting design typology, and this ambitious project sets the dial for something that is transformational.” —Matthew Bremer

Matthew Millman

Custom House, Over 3,000 Square Feet
Jackson, Wy.
CLB Architects

“A vernacular architectural mountain home with a surprising interior that is light, artsy and whimsical.” – Carlos Madrid III

Here and now

Multi-family homes
Canyon Drive
The Angels
Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

“While unconventional, the unique design reinvents the typology of the small-lot dense house.” —Ingrid Spencer

Allen Russ/studioHDP

Affordable housing
Washington, DC
Studio Twenty Seven Architecture and Leo A Daly

“The architecture has character and optimism and responds to light and views. Bravo!” —Carlos Madrid III

Lee Bey

Renovation / Adaptive reuse
West Pullman School Senior Housing
Urban Works

“This transformed landmark building contains beautiful airy spaces and so many nods to its past life.” —Ingrid Spencer

Casey Dunn

Residence West Campus
Austin, Texas
Alterstudio Architecture, Mell Lawrence Architects

“This home is small, but the interior flow, light, privacy, storage, and public and private spaces are all achieved with a deft hand.” —Ingrid Spencer

Nic Lehoux

Architectural Design Detail
Wührer House
East Hampton, New York
Engelking Architects

“Every aspect of this house has been carefully considered and detailed to come together with grace and balance. There are no ego moments – it plays like a symphony.” —Kimberly Sheppard

thanks to Hester + Hardaway

Sitt’n and Shower’n
Midland, Texas
Rhodenberry Wellen Architects

“This project blurs the lines between public and private, celebrates industrial materiality and expands outdoor showering.” —Carlos Madrid III

thanks to S^A | Schwartz and architecture

On the shelves
The Meander
Marine, California.
Schwartz and architecture

“The invitation for natural scenery and views to flow in from every subtle angle creates a connecting and inspiring life inside and out.” —Kimberly Sheppard

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