The AIA Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community established this awards program to emphasize the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource. The categories are:

  • Category One: One- and Two-Family Custom Residences
  • Category Two: One- and Two-Family Production Homes
  • Category Three: Multifamily Housing
  • Category Four: Specialized Housing

Category Three: Multifamily Housing

Jury Comments:

Nice inside/outside feel. There is no repetition, which is great. Really like the sandstone rainscreen – it is well detailed. The horizontal plans are fantastic. It's a great solution for this environment.

It's going to endure because it relies so heavily on landscaping. The materials and colors fit in well with the vegetation and desert surrounding it. Everything is designated towards keeping the building eco and energy friendly so it's nice to see that this serves multipurposes.

Optima Camelview Village | Notes of Interest

The project intends to: (1) blend urban and natural desert landscapes to create a dynamic, public, pedestrian friendly environment, (2) integrate local contemporary architectural vernacular with the demands of high-density 21st century residential design, and (3) integrate green roof design and technology to enhance human experiences and ecological stewardship, providing landscaped space to every residence in the 7-story buildings within the site's 65' height limit.

The architecture embodies a site-sensitive vocabulary of deep-layered shades, shadows, colors, textures, and transparency. Overlapping and interconnected forms and voids create a diverse and provocative composition of space. Overhanging bridges and cantilevering landscaped terraces shade public pedestrian courtyards, creating shelter not just as covered space but as a serene sanctuary from the southwest desert. The landscaped courtyards are accented with water features, three swimming pools, spas, and monumental public art. The central promenade completes the north end of the City of Scottsdale's master-planned Marshall Way pedestrian connection in an active landscaped civic space lined with shopping, palm trees, fountains, and water fall that provides evaporative cooling and mitigation of urban noise.

Each dwelling is a dynamic combination of layered interior space expanding uninterrupted into lushly landscaped private terraces up to 3,000 square feet. Landscaping is as important an element of the architectural composition as the physical expression of the buildings; 17 acres of roof gardens were constructed on the 13-acre site. Through technical innovation resulting from extensive design exploration, engineering and a multi-year research collaboration with Arizona State University, a terrace planting system was developed with a soil depth of 6-8" that facilitated the economical construction of landscaped terraces on every floor of the seven story structures within the 65' height limit. The garden roofs provide a haven for urban wildlife, promote evaporative cooling, re-oxygenate the air, reduce dust and smog levels, reduce ambient noise, detain storm water, and thermally insulate and shield residents from the desert sun, all of which contribute to a sustainable urban environment.

The environmental benefits seamlessly integrate into the benchmark aesthetic and achieve a 20% reduction in design energy cost. One-third of the construction materials included recycled content; and one-third of the materials were acquired from local and regional resources. The project is positioned for LEED Silver certification.