Single Family House

Single Family House

On December 12, in New York City, seven jurors convened to evaluate and discuss more than 200 projects submitted to AN‘s second annual Best Of Design Awards.

The jury included Thomas Balsley, of Thomas Balsley Associates; Winka Dubbeldam, of ARCHI-TECTONICS; Kenneth Drucker, of HOK; Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects; Craig Schwitter, of Buro Happold; Annabelle Selldorf, of Selldorf Architects; and Erik Tietz, of Tietz-Baccon.

This year, the jury reviewed projects submitted in nine categories, including Best Facade, Best Landscape, Best Single Family House, Best Multi-Family Residential, Best Residential Interior, Best Non-Residential Interior, Best Fabrication Project, Best Student Built Work, and  

Brillhart Architecture’s elevated, 1,500-square-foot house provides a tropical refuge in the heart of Downtown Miami. It includes 100 feet of uninterrupted glass spanning the full length of both the front and rear facades and four sets of sliding glass doors that allow the house to be entirely open when desired.


Front and back porches add 800 square feet of outdoor living space, and exterior shuttered doors provide privacy and protection against the elements. The architects organized their design around four questions that challenge the culture for building big: what is necessary, how can the impact on the earth be minimized, how to best respect the neighborhood, and what can actually be built? Some answers came from the Dog Trot style house, which has been a dominant typology of Florida vernacular architecture for more than a century. The glass pavilion typology and principles of Tropical Modernism also played influential roles in the final design.

Best Of: Single Family House: Tie

Fall House
Big Sur, California
Fougeron Architecture

“If this house is about the site, then the architecture is working with the site.”—Chris McVoy

This three-bedroom house in Big Sur is anchored in the natural beauty of the California coast. Fougeron Architecture embedded the building within the land, taking advantage of the site’s dramatic views while creating a form more complex than a giant picture window.


The main body of the house is composed of two rectangular boxes connected by an all-glass library/den. The main entry is located at the top of the upper volume with the living spaces unfolding from the most public to the most private. The living room kitchen and dining room are an open plan with subtle changes in levels and roof planes to differentiate the various functions.


The lower volume, a double-cantilevered master bedroom suite, acts as a promontory above the ocean, offering breathtaking views from its floor-to-ceiling windows. The link between these two volumes is the glass library and den, which unites the house inside and out.

Best Of: Single Family House: Honorable Mention

Marlboro Music: Five Cottages
Marlboro, Vermont

These five cottages serve as residences for senior musicians during Marlboro College’s seven-week summer festival, Marlboro Music. Sited on 15 acres in Vermont’s Green Mountains, the design of the cottages was inspired by the Cape Cod cottage, a 400-year-old typology derived from 17th century English settlers’ dwellings in New England.


The small footprints, sloped roofs, compact volumes, and indigenous materials fit snuggly into the lush Vermont landscape of rolling hills and streams and respond in a modern contextual way to the farm buildings on Marlboro College’s campus.