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Regional projects receive top honors

Area builders and designers win nearly half the awards given at the annual Gold Nugget competition.

June 22, 2003|Diane Wedner | Times Staff Writer

An assisted-living community for seniors in Northridge and redeveloped affordable apartments in Santa Barbara were among Southern California projects that took nearly half the prizes at the 40th annual Gold Nugget awards competition at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference last week in San Francisco.

A nine-member panel of judges considered more than 600 entries from the western United States and Pacific Rim, for awards in 46 categories honoring achievement in architectural design and land-use planning for residential, commercial and industrial projects.

The grand awards for attached residential projects of the year went to Davenport in Ladera Ranch and Water Terrace in Marina del Rey. Davenport, designed by JBZ Architecture + Planning and built by William Lyon Homes, combines Colonial and Cape Cod architectural styles, and features attic-style rooms and dormers for study alcoves. Water Terrace, designed by GMP Architects Inc. and built by Swinerton Builders, offers ocean, marina and city views and recreational amenities the judges rated "superior."

A home of the year was awarded to Cortiles at Verrazzano -- Residence Two in San Diego, a 2,700-square-foot home that borrows from the Federal style. Designed by JBZ Architecture + Planning and built by Shea Homes, the home "is reminiscent of those some of us grew up in," the judges said.

Shady Canyon in Irvine was honored with the residential master plan community award. Designed by Robert Hidey Architects and developed by Irvine Community Development Co., the project's pristine canyon setting was lauded by the judges, as well as the variation of roof forms, house width and landscaping.

Casa de Las Fuentes in Santa Barbara, designed by Peikert Group Architects and built by Melchiori Construction Co., picked up the award for best redevelopment, rehab or infill site plan. The former bank building now houses 42 affordable apartments, which blend into the historic downtown area. Rents are $481 to $815 a month.

The award for best seniors project-assisted living went to Brighton Gardens in Northridge. Designed by Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh and built by Camco Pacific, the project is "reminiscent of a grandma's cottage," the judges said. It features garden courts and walking paths.

The Promenade at Rio Vista in San Diego received the award for best apartment project with four or more stories. The development, designed by McLarand, Vasquez, Emsiek & Partners Inc. and built by Greystone Multi-Family Builders, takes advantage of the site's adjacent light-rail transit and riverfront trails, and features arcades in front of the commercial areas. The architecture succeeds in "relating to the history of the region," the judges said.

Two of the five Building Industry Community Spirit Awards went to Southern California projects. The award recognizes projects that serve a community's needy residents.

Local winners were Ray and Joan Kroc Salvation Army Corps Community Center in San Diego, designed by Austin Veum Robbins Parshalle and built by Roel Construction Co., and James M. Wood Community Center in Los Angeles, designed by Lehrer Architects and built by Robert F. Vairo Construction.

The design contest was the highlight of the convention that brings together developers and related professionals from around the world.

For a complete list of Gold Nugget award winners, visit

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