This is one of our favorite issues of the year at residential architect. Our annual design competition is the gift that keeps on giving to our editors. First, we have the privilege of surveying some of the top work in the country and publishing what our jury thinks is the best of the bunch. Then we get to plumb those that didn't make the final cut for our future issues. That's how good many of the entries are—even if they aren't awarded prizes, quite a few are still worthy of publication ... at the very least. We've told this to our entrants before, and this year it happened again—we watched a stunning project that received no awards last year snag a grand award this time. We won't reveal which one it is; you'll just have to ponder the possibilities. Each year we build a diverse and talented jury of residential practitioners, and each year their thinking and choices are different. We're always thrilled with their decisions, yet often a little wistful for some of the work they pass by.

The sixth annual residential architect Design Awards jury toiled harder than any of the five juries that came before it, because our number of entries broke yet another record for us. We received nearly 850 entries in 14 categories. The hardworking panel comprised six distinguished architects, including Laura Hartman, Fernau & Hartman Architects, Berkeley, Calif.; William P. Lecky, AIA, The Lessard Group, Vienna, Va.; Stuart Cohen, FAIA, Stuart Cohen & Julie Hacker Architects, Evanston, Ill.; Edward Weinstein, FAIA, Weinstein A/U Architects + Urban Designers, Seattle; Kirk V. Blunck, FAIA, Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture, Des Moines, Iowa; and Dan Rockhill, Rockhill and Associates, Lawrence, Kan. They singled out 37 projects for awards, among them one Project of the Year, nine grand awards, and 27 merit awards. Impressive, beautiful work. “Now that's architecture,” said one juror during the judging. This is architecture indeed.