A common discussion among ARCHITECT’s editorial staff is that our readers simply love houses, of all kinds really. They could be a series of petite cabins strewn along a rugged mountain, a quaint retreat in the countryside, or a renovated bungalow with an unconventional addition fixed onto the façade. And being located along a body of water certainly doesn’t hurt. But two commercial projects in this year's Arch Madness have consistently upset that notion, solidified by our initial analytics that determined the most popular projects according to reader’s views. It's worth noting that those two projects—both designed by Perkins+Will—now make up half of the players in the Final Four.

The aforementioned projects executed by the interdisciplinary, research-based design firm are the United States Coast Guard’s new headquarters, a collaborative project with Washington, D.C., firm WDG Architecture, and the Shanghai Natural History Museum. Although both contenders are situated on opposite ends of the world and are geared toward contrasting cultures, they're united in one cause: both projects reconsider the built environment’s relationship with nature. (They were also both designed by Perkins+Will's Ralph Johnson, and appear in the portfolio we did of Johnson in our March 2016 issue.)

The nautilus-shaped core of the Shanghai museum curls up to a green roof with a canopy-covered entry way, leading to a light-filled interior featuring several pools, which is all clad in a multifaceted exterior, which is partially covered in greenery and flanked by a curving stone wall. On the other side of the globe is a 1.2 million-square-foot structure designed as sloping steps downhill toward Washington, D.C.’s Potomac River, also fit with green roofs, and decked out with a glass curtainwall providing a view to the historic capital. Consistently celebrated for its environmentally friendly designs (it was ranked as the third most sustainable firm in this past year’s ARCHITECT 50), it could very well work out that the firm’s own projects will end up playing against each other.

But for the Final Four, the projects now will play against Rappahannock House, a mountain getaway at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Colorado Outward Bound Micro Cabins, a student-designed project featuring seven small structures in the Rocky Mountains.

By now, you know the drill. Vote for your favorites. The Top Two will then end up in the Championship Game.

Voting for this round will close on Sunday, April 2, at midnight EST.

Linear Cabin

Hog Pen Creek Residence

H3 House

Case Inlet Retreat

See Through House

US Coast Guard Headquarters

The Wave House

Open House with Condensed Core

Newberg Residence

House XL

KODA House

Grow Box

Shelton Marshall Residence

L4 House

Rappahannock House

Kent State

Hog Pen Creek Residence

Case Inlet Retreat

US Coast Guard Headquarters

Open House with Condensed Core

Newberg Residence

Grow Box

Shelton Marshall Residence

Rappahannock House

Case Inlet Retreat

US Coast Guard Headquarters

Newberg Residence

Rappahannock House

US Coast Gaurd Headquarters

Rappahannock House

Colorado - Micro Cabins

Shanghai Natural History Museum

Colorado - Micro Cabins

Stealth Building

Shanghai Natural History Museum

Independence Pass Residence

Enough House

Colorado - Micro Cabins

Island Residence

Stealth Building

Columbia University

Shanghai Natural History Museum

CCR1

Independence Pass Residence

White Walls

Enough House

Shokan House

Colorado - Micro Cabins

Bait Ur Rouf Mosque

Island Residence

Pivot Apartment

Stealth Building

Columbia University

ME:OU

Xixi Wetland Estate

Shanghai Natural History Museum

CCR1 Residence

Fenlon House

Gordon Parks Arts Hall

Independence Pass Residence