Academic journal article Cityscape

2016 AIA/HUD Secretary's Housing and Urban Development Design Awards

Academic journal article Cityscape

2016 AIA/HUD Secretary's Housing and Urban Development Design Awards

Article excerpt

Affordable Design

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsors or cosponsors three annual competitions for innovation in affordable design. This Cityscape department reports on the competitions and their winners. Each competition seeks to identify and develop new, forward-looking planning and design solutions for expanding or preserving affordable housing. Professional jurors determine the outcome of these competitions.

Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award

David Baker Architects: Lakeside Senior Apartments, Oakland, California

Community-Informed Design Award

Collaboration of builders and architects: Texas Disaster Recovery-Round 2, Houston, Texas

Alan J. Rothman Housing Accessibility Award

FabCab: Port Townsend Residence, Port Townsend, Washington

Creating Community Connection Award

Private-public-nonprofit partnership: Dorchester Art-Housing Collaborative, Chicago, Illinois


Jamie Blosser, American Institute of Architects (Chair), Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Ariella Cohen, Editor-in-Chief, Next City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Kevin Harris, Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), Kevin Harris Architect, LLC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Rachelle L. Levitt, Director, Research Utilization Division, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C.; David Lee, FAIA, Stull and Lee, Inc., Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts; Lynn M. Ross, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy Development, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C.; Suman Sorg, FAIA, Sorg & Associates, PS., Washington, D.C.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. government.


Since 1999, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has partnered with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Housing and Custom Residential Community Knowledge Community to sponsor four awards that promote innovative approaches to affordable housing design, community-based housing development, participatory planning and design, and accessibility. This year's recipients were recognized for their efforts to encourage durable housing design without sacrificing affordability. Each award recipient made a valuable contribution to the knowledge and understanding of how and why design matters and responded to the needs of a thriving community and also to the families who live in them.

The Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award is given to a project that offers a set-aside of at least 20 percent of its units for low-income residents or families. The project team must go beyond HUD and other federal requirements under existing programs, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit or Choice Neighborhoods, to expand affordable housing options, demonstrate adherence to established design guidelines, and integrate new and innovative approaches to housing design and development. This year's award recipient was David Baker Architects. The project, Lakeside Senior Apartments, in Oakland, California, was recognized for the unique attention paid to energy-efficient building materials and design technologies.

The Community-Informed Design Award was given to a collaboration of builders and architects in Houston, Texas. The jury acknowledged the Texas Disaster Recovery-Round 2 for its disaster neighborhood revitalization efforts that focus less on housing and more on the integration of many different building types and uses to transform a community. The award emphasizes the importance of participatory design throughout all stages of the planning and development process- empowering residents to be active in the decisionmaking process and encouraging private-public partnerships in the reinvestment of transitioning communities.

The Alan J. …

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