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Architecture ◆ Single-Family Houses
Are
Finalist
Project
Chalet au lac Memphremagog
Location
Memphrémagog, Canada
Firm
Naturehumaine, Canada
Summary
A single dwelling composed of three angular masses connected by a podium base, this wood-clad Quebec chalet is shaped around the trio of sculptural skylights that bathe its interiors in stupendous light. It’s this celestial feature (inspired by the nearby abbey of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, an architectural wonder) and architect Stéphane Rasselet’s reverent use of simple materials like concrete, wood and steel that imbue the whole with a cathedralesque quality.
Finalist
Project
House in Minohshinmachi
Location
Minoh City, Japan
Firm
Yasuyuki Kitamura Architects, Osaka, Japan
Summary
This home’s humble size and material makeup belie its marvelousness. Located in the northern Japanese town of Minoh, Osaka Prefecture, with a view of majestic Mount Aogai, the 87-square-metre house was designed on a tight budget with the aim of ushering in as much of the natural panorama as possible.
Finalist
Project
Villa Varoise
Location
Le Var, France
Firm
NADAAA, U.S.
Summary
The Villa Varoise, a retreat in the South of France by Boston firm NADAAA, is a geometric marvel. It comprises two opposed L-shaped structures nestled into a hill at different heights. The forms join, creating an abstracted rhomboid with a courtyard at the centre. One of the L-forms also cantilevers over a pathway that connects the courtyard and pool to the exterior of the home. The Villa Varoise is, in fact, a study in connectivity. It incorporates nature and complements the surroundings via pigmented concrete walls whose earthy tones juxtapose the surrounding greenery.
Finalist
Project
Floating Home
Location
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Firm
i29 architects, the Netherlands
Summary
A cluster of 46 houses above a disused Amsterdam canal, Schoonschip is touted as Europe’s most sustainable floating neighbourhood. The latest addition, the three-storey Floating Home by Dutch studio i29, lives up to this billing. It’s heated in part by a water pump that extracts warmth from the canal. The exterior is prismatic and austere with a pitched roof and dark timber cladding. But the interiors feature warm millwork and seating that overlooks both a triple-height atrium and the canal beyond, bringing a sense of liveliness — one might even say buoyancy — to the entire project.
Finalist
Project
Villa JM
Location
North Brabant, the Netherlands
Firm
Powerhouse Company, the Netherlands
Summary
The Villa JM, a retreat in the Dutch province of North Brabant, is a study in restraint — and perhaps opulence. A U-form with living spaces in one arm and sleeping quarters in the other, the schematic design couldn’t be more basic, nor could the exterior palette, which consists of ash slats and Portuguese stone. But beyond the facade are touches of exquisite marble, sleek millwork made of American walnut, and sheets of dramatic curved glass. Powerhouse Company has somehow made showiness compatible with taste.
Finalist
Project
SoLo
Location
Soo Valley, Canada
Firm
Perkins&Will, Canada
Summary
A stunning home overlooking British Columbia’s Soo Valley, SoLo represents an experiment in how to create environmentally sensitive single-family homes that are also strikingly beautiful. Crafted from warm Douglas fir, the mass timber prefab building even makes solar panels look great: A shimmering array of them lines the linear house’s facade.
And
Architecture ◆ Single-Family Houses
The Peoples Choice
Is
Project
SoLo
Location
Soo Valley, Canada
Firm
Perkins&Will, Canada

A stunning home overlooking British Columbia’s Soo Valley, SoLo represents an experiment in how to create environmentally sensitive single-family homes that are also strikingly beautiful. Crafted from warm Douglas fir, the mass timber prefab building even makes solar panels look great: A shimmering array of them lines the linear house’s facade. Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows and a wood-on-wood palette provide a cottagey feel. But this is more than a cabin in the woods — it’s residential architecture at its finest.

Team Derek Newby and Alysia Baldwin with Aik Ablimit, Cillian Collins, Susan Gushe, Joshua Rudd and Adrian Watson

And
Architecture ◆ Single-Family Houses
The Winner
Is
Project
House in Minohshinmachi
Location
Minoh City, Japan
Firm
Yasuyuki Kitamura Architects, Osaka, Japan
Yasuyuki Kitamura: 2021 AZ Award Winner in Single-Family Houses
Presented By: Caesarstone
Internal link iconCaesarstone

This home’s humble size and material makeup belie its marvelousness. Located in the northern Japanese town of Minoh, Osaka Prefecture, with a view of majestic Mount Aogai, the 87-square-metre house was designed on a tight budget with the aim of ushering in as much of the natural panorama as possible. To that end, its master stroke is a dramatic overhanging roof: Made of corrugated metal, lined in timber and integrating a massive polycarbonate skylight, it brings in the blue sky and lush vista while also creating an intimate in-between zone under its eaves.

“House in Minohshinmachi expresses that it’s possible to have a beautiful and interesting house that’s also economical.”
Adelaide Testa, AZ Awards 2021 Juror

This one architectural gesture establishes the building’s style based on an honest use of materials and a balance between opacity and transparency. Inside the one-storey home, which is divided by slender wooden beams, a number of nested rectilinear volumes, white-washed or clad in plywood, contain the kitchen, bath and other functions. Modern and solid, the structures make a wonderful contrast against the classic, airy envelope.

(more…)
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