2020 AIA|LA Residential Architecture Award Winners
Announced by the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles

+ 2020 Residential Architecture Award Winning Images

(For a complete list of winners plus jury notes, scroll down.)

June 19, 2020 (Los Angeles, CA) – Twenty-nine residential projects that redefine home were announced as 2020 AIA|LA Residential Architecture Awards (RAAs) winners by the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter (AIA|LA) in a virtual reception on the evening of June 18.

“The scope of the AIA|LA Residential Architecture Awards winning projects demonstrates that Los Angeles-based designers continue to be leaders in this typology,” noted 2020 AIA|LA President Greg Verabian, AIA. “Realizing new tactics in traditional housing forms, such as ADUs, is critical to the field and our communities. The level of the design excellence we see in this work addresses the importance of housing at this time.”

More than 120 architects, designers, and professionals who work in the built environment gathered for a virtual ceremony sponsored by MASS Beverly to announce the 2020 AIA|LA RAA winners. Attendees brought their own cocktails, and a strong representation answered the party invite’s request to dress in “Zoom-cocktail-attire.” The 2020 AIA|LA RAA jury announced the award winners and provided insights on winning projects. They were: Frances Anderton, Hon. AIA|LA – Host/Producer, DnA: Design and Architecture; Frank Clementi, FAIA – Partner, Smith-Clementi; and Christopher Hawthorne – Chief Design Officer, City of Los Angeles.

Recipients of the awards ranged in scale from additions, ADUs, or small homes of less than 2,500 square feet to large residences and multi-unit projects comprised of more than 50 units.

Recipients in each category were recognized with Honor, Merit or Citation awards, “Honor” being the highest. Please find the 2020 AIA|LA Residential Architecture Award winners along with jury notes on each project, below. To view images of winners, visit: https://www.aialosangeles.org/awards/residential-architecture-awards/residential-architecture-award-winners-2020

(up to 2,500 square feet)


Culver City Residence (Culver City, CA)
Laney LA
image: Jess Isaac
Very elegant barn with lovely detailed like the extruded upper floor window. | The jury loved loved the roofline and the overhang. | Makes the most of thoughtfully calculated interior volumes, coordinated with careful exterior expression.

Boomerang House (Mar Vista, CA)
image: Eric Staudenmaier
Liveable, cheerful spaces within wonderful composition of volumes. | Spirited and confident command of the rare opportunities for legible space making at this tight size.

Walk-Street House (Hermosa Beach, CA)
ras-a studio
Image: Joe Fletcher
Bravura use of wood. | Beautiful example of proficiency of material. | Variation-on-a-theme appropriate to scale.


Passive House Los Angeles (PHLA+) (Culver City, CA)
PARAVANT Architects
image: Fraser Almeida
Building as machine, in industrial but cheerful aesthetic. | Closely-held-vernacular hi-tech yet passive house. | Knows what it wants, holds to its sustainable values, and gets a lot of flexible usage by letting-go of not-too-tightly controlled spaces.

A Small House in Hadohilljo Townhouse (Jeju, S-Korea)
image: Youngchae Park
Nice case study of simple but considered arrangement of the minimal accoutrements of architecture in one third the size of most in this category. | Somewhere between nostalgic Wes Anderson and revisionist Tim Burton; thankfully not meager Terry Gilliam.

(up to 5,000 square feet)


Bend Residence (Bend, Oregon)
Bestor Architecture
image: Laure Joliet
“Beautiful form and materials. | One of the better examples of a simple barn that does a great job of carrying the vernacular from the interior to the landscape.

West Los Angeles Residence (Los Angeles, California)
Clive Wilkinson Architects
image: Ema Peter
Fearless with color and materials while managing to mix architectural drama and — on the top floor — the coziness of a wood cabin. | Clear exploration of dichotomies, top versus bottom, enclosed versus open. | Expressed with careful control of material and form.

Inohouse (Los Angeles, California)
XTEN Architecture
image: Steve King
A gleaming white box done very well. | The command of craft is evident. Practiced slight-of-hand mastery in uncanny composition. | It takes a lot to make this seem this simple.


Bridge House (Los Angeles, California)
Dan Brunn Architecture
Image: Brandon Shigeta
Clever, unobtrusive integration of modern structure in historic neighborhood. | Exciting use of the site. | Elegant plan. | Priorities of orientation and privacy are well controlled.

VIS-À-VIS HOUSE (Los Angeles, California)
Ferrier Architecture Studio
image: Noel Kleinman
The meeting of the two structures is original and delightful. | Bucks expectation for outward orientation and prioritizes inward facing site relationships. | Each is the other’s folly.

(5,000 square feet and up)


Branch House (Montecito, CA)
TOLO Architecture
image: David Hartwell
Alluring colors, materials and picturesque sitting in the oak grove. Love the copper tile armor! | Fantastic job leveraging an array of architectural touchpoints; craft, composition, context. | Clearly defined uses in not-quite-ad-hoc arrangement in response to site are then spatially bent by view and light. | The legible craft of layered materials and assembly tie it to a legacy of hand made tree forts. | Brilliant and clever take on boundary definition through coordination of enclosed rooms around “outdoor” gallery. | Paleo-modern, following every aspiration of humanist modernism free of the proscribed stodginess. Wish there were more examples of this ambitious thinking, follow through, and resolution. | 10/10


Skyhouse (Los Angeles, CA)
XTEN Architecture
image: Steve King
A white box done extremely well. | The jury loves the gridded glass ceiling under the skylights. | Holds its own among the container store of white boxes through its virtuosity of control of light, and closely held assembly. yields a nearly Kubrick-like uncanny abstraction.


Mandeville Canyon Residence (Los Angeles, California)
Marmol Radziner
image: Roger Davies
Powerful facade, materially rich interiors. | Elegant and well controlled. | Sophisticated in material composition and thoughtfulness of assembly. | Well composed sightlines relative to context and sequence through spaces.


(up to 20 Units)


A Home for “At-Promise” Youth (Compton, California)
Lehrer Architects LA
image: Lehrer Architects LA
Loved the warmth of this project, achieved not only through bright color but more importantly through features like the open stair that lends itself to casual hanging out and watching the world go by. | Fantastic that the design proceeds from clear humanistic expectations leading to formal arrangement and responses. | Despite meager means this yields an optimistic composition of pliable spaces.

XYZ Venice Houses (Venice, CA)
Cigolle X Coleman
image Eric Staudenmaier
Very Venice—captures a combination of the scale and grittiness while neatly configuring three residences on one tight site. | Does a great job of responding to both context and history of community without pandering. | Nice set of variations that endow each unit with its own qualities, while it holds together as a complex.

Pomegranate (Culver City, California)
Yu2e, Inc.
image: Taiyo Watanabe
Love both the characters on this project: the bold stridency of the addition is complimented by the confident adaptation of the existing house and garage. Rancher and farmer can be friends.


Ashland Apartments (Santa Monica, California)
image: Eric Staudenmaier
Bold project on difficult-to-access-site that seems to create liveable dwellings around shared open space which echoes the private/communal nature of bungalow courts of the neighborhood. | Takes on the inward relationship of multiple units to each other, recalling the (disappearing) aggregated bungalows of the context.

(up to 50 Units)


Pico Eleven (Santa Monica, CA)
KFA Architecture
image: Jonathan Ramirez, ArchLenz Photography
Generous inside and out, with balconies, shared courtyards and spacious, light-filled interiors with sash windows that make for more traditional–in a good way–openings. | Architecturally strong while appearing to put liveability first. | Weathered wood exterior looks like it should weather well.

(50 units and up)


Jeanette301 (Santa Ana, California)
Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
image: Paul Vu



Crenshaw Gardens (Los Angeles, CA)
Lahmon Architects
Image: Benny Chan
Spirited decoration. Ornamental features — the staircase! — and color that evoke, without mimicry, the local Spanish Colonial heritage. | Attractive open spaces. | Great to see example of work that is rational, relevant, and exuberant.


The Beacon (Long Beach, CA)
The Architects Collective
image: Panic Studio LA
Generous balconies and shared social spaces within interesting facades. | Units themselves seem inviting. | Love the compositions used against conventions–bashing two buildings into one mini tower that addresses the corner.




The Hunt House Historic Restoration (Malibu, CA)
Previous Partners
image: Dan Chavkin
Great to see the forensic work here re-establish the relevance of the humble practical beauty of the Case Study Houses. Neither austere, nor melodramatic.


Pico Mixed Use Building (Los Angeles, CA)
Lanet-Shaw Architects Inc.
image: Doug Santo
A loft atop a storefront on an arterial street in LA! Let’s see more of these in Los Angeles. | The Jury likes the elevated walkway flying through the space and its connection to the roof terrace with a gritty urban view. | Great revival of a typology of blended live-work space: home over the store. | Likely even more viable and appropriate in the post pandemic paradigm.

29th St. Apts (Long Beach, CA)
Form Designers
image: David Ewing
Graphic treatment and colors transformative. | Dingbat lives! | Love the sincerity to its roots. | Overt moves kept simple.

Clear Oak Drive (Encino, CA)
Woods + Dangaran
image: Francis Dreis
Precise, elegant. | Resolves the original’s aspirations by providing an exterior to which the interior’s boundlessness is now related.



City of LA ADU Pilot (Los Angeles, CA)
Photo by: Stephen Schauer
Delightful–a Mod spin on the local craftsman style, a fresh take on vernacular. Makes a case for joy in color and texture. | Gives an ADU its own character. | Love the cork inside and the pop details like the flowerpots poking through the sill. | Demonstrates that you can both work within the rules and challenge preconceptions all along the way. |

Midnight Room (Los Angeles, CA)
Design, Bitches
image: Yoshihiro Makino
“Somehow this feels like an emblematic ADU; simple, clear, she-like and homey, in a good way. | Lovely colors (color!) and wood treatments. | Nice to see balance between the genus of the donor house represented in the additions. | Well controlled material choices and craft make modest choices seem elegant.


La Maida Residence (Valley Village, Los Angeles, CA)
Casey Hughes Architects
image: Casey Hughes
Takes a box and gives it character by cutting off the corner. | Too much fun. | It’s terrific to see the attention, even at this tiny scale, to studies of proportions and composition. | Tight little moves. | Never wastes an opportunity.

Black Box (Santa Monica, CA)
Griffin Enright Architects
Image: Margaret Griffin
There’s a drama in the location, atop a steep site, that is reinforced by the bridge connecting house and addition. | The austere aesthetic of the house is reflected in the landscape. | Exploits deliberate discontinuity to provocative effect.


For print quality images and/or further information, contact: Tibby Rothman, Hon. AIA|LA at the AIA|Los Angeles, tibby@aialosangeles.org



Tibby Rothman, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Marketing and Public Relations
t: 213.639.0763