Announcing the Winners of the 2020 Residential Design Architecture Awards

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 Residential Design Architecture Awards. RDAA exceeded our greatest expectations and received nearly 400 entries in 11 categories of residential design. With such a large pool of entries, the competition was robust, and our judges had some very difficult decisions to make in their two long days of deliberation. Ultimately, the judges selected just 20 projects for awards, including one Project of the Year, seven Honor awards, and twelve Citation awards.

Some of the winning projects may look familiar to you, and, indeed, some have appeared previously in this magazine or have been awarded in other competitions. Previous publication or award status were not disqualifications for entry into this program. Residential projects completed after January 1, 2015 were eligible for entry. It was our goal that all good work be considered on its own merits in this competition, mano a mano.

Serving on this year’s judges panel were six accomplished architects with deep expertise in residential architecture: Heidi Richardson, Richardson Pribuss Architects; Brad Lynch, Brininstool+Lynch; Grant Marani, AIA, Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Brian Johnsen, FAIA, Johnsen Schmaling Architects; Richard Williams, FAIA, Richard Williams Architects; and Michael Frederick, AIA, Frederick+Frederick Architects. They gathered in person in Chicago, just as the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to shut down all travel across the country. Shortly upon our return to various locations east, west, north, and south, we each packed up our offices and decamped to our homes to shelter in place.

Pictured left to right: Grant Marani, AIA, Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Richard Williams, FAIA, Richard Williams Architects; Brad Lynch, Brininstool+Lynch; Michael Frederick, AIA, Frederick+Frederick Architects; Brian Johnsen, FAIA, Johnsen Schmaling Architects; and Heidi Richardson, Richardson Pribuss Architects.

Never has the idea of home and the primal necessity of shelter loomed so large in the public’s consciousness. No doubt everyone has a renewed appreciation for the form and function of their dwellings and a freshly discerning eye to its flaws and shortcomings. Myriad plans are hatching for how our homesteads may be improved upon when this plague abates. We design lovers hope that will lead to even more great opportunities for residential architects in the near future.

Residential Design had intended to honor our award winners during the American Institute of Architects Conference on Architecture in Los Angeles this month. The conference was first postponed and then cancelled. We will celebrate this year’s winners along with those from RDAA 2021 at the next AIA national conference, when we hope the world may have regained some of its reassuring routines.

Although we created 11 categories of entry in the competition, we gave our jury wide latitude to eliminate whichever ones they felt were less strong than others and to assign entries to ones that better played to their strengths. Categories the judges eliminated for this competition include: Architectural Details; Custom Outdoor Living Design; and Custom on the Boards. Additionally, due to a publication rights issue, there is no winner in the Custom Period, Contextual, or Vernacular House category. We hope to see strong entries and strong winners in those and other categories next year.

Full editorial coverage of the winning projects will appear in the next print edition of Residential Design and online following the issue’s publication. Start thinking now of what you’d like to enter next year!



Project of the Year

Addition to the Stretto House

Dallas, Texas

Architect: Max Levy Architect

Custom Rural or Vacation House


Honor Award

Whidbey Farm

Freeland, Washington

Architect: mwworks


Honor Award

Smith Residence

Kingsburg, Nova Scotia

Architect: MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects


Honor Award

Michigan Lake House

Leelanau, Michigan

Architect: Desai Chia Architecture


Honor Award

Pennsylvania Farmhouse

Lakewood, Pennsylvania

Architect: Cutler Anderson Architects


Citation Award

SkyFall Residence

The Sea Ranch, California

Architect: Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects


Citation Award

Horizon House

Las Vegas, Nevada

Architect: Lake|Flato Architects

Custom Urban House


Citation Award

Spectral Bridge House

Venice, California

Architect: Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects


Citation Award

The Sanctuary

Palo Alto, California

Architect: Feldman Architecture


Citation Award

Manifold House

Arlington, Virginia

Architect: David Jameson Architect


Citation Award

Ontario House

Washington, D.C.

Architect: David Jameson Architect



Honor Award

Amagansett Addition and Garage

Amagansett, New York

Architect: Resolution: 4 Architecture


Citation Award

21st Century Cabin

Highland, Maryland

Architect: McInturff Architects

Custom Period, Contextual, or Vernacular Renovation


Honor Award

Morgan Phoa Library & Residence

Los Angeles, California

Architect: SPFA: architects


Citation Award

Victorian Music Box

Aspen, Colorado

Architect: CCY Architects

Residential Special Constraints


Citation Award

St. Paul Residences

St. Paul, Minnesota

Architect: Snow Kreilich Architects


Citation Award

ivrv House

Westmont, California

Architect: SCI-Arc directed by Darin Johnstone

Architectural Interiors


Honor Award

The Jewel Box

New York, New York

Architect: Messana O’Rorke

Custom Accessory Dwelling


Citation Award

Lantern Studio

Wellesley, Massachusetts

Architect: Flavin Architects


Citation Award

Alley Armor

Washington, D.C.

Architect: KUBE Architecture

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