Spotlight on Architectural Excellence [2023]

In a dazzling celebration of architectural brilliance, the 2023 Residential Design Awards brought forth a stellar lineup of winners whose innovative designs redefine the essence of modern living. Among the standout projects were the custom urban houses that captured the imagination and admiration of the industry. These bespoke residences, crafted by visionary architects and builders, seamlessly blend contemporary aesthetics with urban functionality. From sleek lines to ingenious use of space, each custom urban house represents a unique narrative in the evolving story of residential design.

Read along as we delve into the details of these exceptional homes, unraveling the stories behind the craftsmanship, creativity, and the unique vision that earned them a well-deserved spot among the 2023 Residential Design Award winners.

1. Rollingwood Residence by A Parallel Architecture

A Parallel Architecture’s Rollingwood Residence emerged as a standout winner at the 2023 Residential Design Awards. The judges were captivated by its seemingly effortless blend of form and function within an urban setting, encompassing over 7,000 square feet on less than half an acre.

The challenge of harmonizing expansive living space, a three-car garage, and ample open areas was masterfully met, with a focus on creating family-oriented front and backyards. To maintain a sense of scale and balance, the garage was strategically rotated and the front façade, composed of Roman brick, glass, and Thermory wood accents, exuded a serene and sculptural presence. Internally, the interiors continued this delicate orchestration, featuring a restrained palette of materials, including white oak and Roman brick. The kitchen, adorned with a four-sided clerestory, seamlessly connects to a covered porch and outdoor fireplace, showcasing the residence’s commitment to functional elegance and environmental consciousness.

2. Courtyard House by Lake by Flato Architects

The Courtyard House by Lake|Flato Architects claimed the spotlight at the 2023 Residential Design Awards, earning accolades for its deep-rooted connection to its El Paso locale. Embracing the challenges of the arid environment, the design showcased tall gabion landscape walls filled with locally sourced stone, gravel courtyards, and 8-foot overhangs adorned with durable materials such as COR-TEN steel and board-formed concrete. This U-shaped residence, designed for entertainment, retreat, and a notable car collection, stands as a testament to Flato’s ability to blend form and function seamlessly. The integration of floor-to-ceiling glass and deep, COR-TEN-covered porches accentuates the view of the courtyard while maintaining a connection to the surroundings. Inside, quartersawn walnut millwork and oak ceiling slats add warmth, complemented by unique features like a spa tub formed from a single piece of sandstone and a patinaed bronze panel wall.

Beyond aesthetics, Courtyard House takes environmental responsibility seriously, harvesting seasonal downpours through underground stormwater channels and generating solar power to contribute back to the utility grid. The jury applauded the thoughtful execution of measures that not only define a sense of place but also contribute to the beauty of the residence.

3. Sound House by GO’C

The 2023 Residential Design Awards also celebrated the architectural prowess of GO’C with the remarkable Sound House in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. Positioned on a steep slope, this custom urban residence not only welcomed a blended family but also embraced the challenge of maximizing breathtaking views of the city, the Sound, and surrounding mountains.

Architect Aimée O’Carroll navigated the constraints of the slope, ensuring a spacious footprint for a family of eight and their multiple vehicles. Prioritizing shared spaces for cooking and entertainment, a central living, dining, and kitchen area ascends two stories, capturing natural light and sweeping vistas. The upper level, dedicated to the children, features pod-sized bedrooms and a dedicated lounge, while the lower level offers a plethora of activities and direct access to an inviting pool. The innovative combination of high-tech gardens and solar panels crowns the structure, demonstrating a harmonious blend of modern technology and eco-conscious design. Despite the complexity of the plan and the challenges posed by the site, every inch of the Sound House reflects a meticulous attention to detail and a high level of custom craftsmanship, earning accolades from the jury as an extraordinary project perfectly suited to its remarkable location.

Patrick Sullivan
Phone: 804.397.5078 

John Innes
Phone: 804.397.5078 

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