The AIA Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community, and the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), honored four recipients for this year’s AIA/HUD Secretary Awards. The categories of the program include Excellence in Affordable Housing Design, Creating Community Connection Award, Community-Informed Design Award and, the Housing Accessibility/Alan J. Rothman Award.
The Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award
This project by Koning Eizenberg Architects is a restoration of a 1926 Spanish Colonial Revival building designed as a YMCA by architect Paul R. Williams and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architects added a five-story building to the original structure, and the expanded building now houses two nonprofit organizations that offer community services—such as youth training and employment programs—and 49 units of affordable housing. This LEED-Gold project also features solar hot water panels on the roof and a photovoltaic array that shades and generates power on the south façade. The jury noted that the project “checks all the boxes we were looking for.”
The Creating Community Connection Award
This award, which honors projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purpose of either revitalization or planned growth, recognized San Francisco’s Kelly Cullen Community. Gelfand Partners Architects and Knapp Architects transformed the city’s 1909 Central YMCA, a classical building located in the Tenderloin neighborhood, into supportive housing for the formerly homeless and a LEED-Gold health center for residents. The project created 174 micro-units of permanent housing, which preserve the original window bays. The project also preserved and restored the original sky-lit second-floor lobby, auditorium, full-size gymnasium, offices, and meeting rooms. “They saved an architectural gem,” commented the jury.
The Community-Informed Design Award
This award honors design that supports physical communities as they rebuild social structures and relationships damaged by outmigration, disinvestment, and the isolation of inner-city areas. Kings Beach Housing Now provides 77 LEED Silver apartments for low-income workers and families who previously lived in substandard housing in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Located on five scattered sites, the development’s nine buildings are the tallest and highest-density buildings in the Tahoe Basin. The project also included the installation of an advanced biofiltration system that naturally filters all on-site storm water, preventing sediments and pollutants from harming the nearby lake. “All affordable housing should turn out to be like this,” the jury said.
The Housing Accessibility/Alan J. Sothman Award
The Alan J. Rothman Award honors projects that improve housing accessibility for people with disabilities. The Sierra Bonita Housing project was not only West Hollywood’s first all-affordable mixed-use development, but also the first designed and completed according to the city’s new Green Building Ordinance. The architects fit the desired 42 accessible units on a 13,000-square-foot site and within a 50-foot height limit by using minimal exterior setbacks and reversing the typical unit layout by locating the bedrooms along the interior building courtyard and the living areas on the street side. The complex features a photovoltaic array, a rooftop solar hot water system, drought-tolerant landscaping, a computer-controlled irrigation system, environmentally friendly building materials, and Energy Star appliances. “It takes a California design vocabulary, turns it on its head, and accommodates someone who can’t afford a beach house but can live in that kind of design,” the jury said.
The jury for the 2014 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards included Nancy Ludwig, FAIA, (Chair), ICON architecture; David Barista, Building Design+Construction; Louise Braverman, FAIA, Louise Braverman Architect; Keith Fudge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Paul Joice, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Jean Rehkeamp Larson, AIA, Rehkamp Larson Architects.