No. 431 . 10 June 2009 
ArchitectureWeek
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AIA Housing Awards 2009

by Brian Libby

Toward the street, the concrete-block home near Bellevue, Idaho, presents abstract, minimally incised walls. On the other side of that boxy masonry, Outpost opens wide to sweeping views of the rural Idaho landscape.

While the house, designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, is built of simple, inexpensive, durable materials — which obviated the need for environmentally unfriendly coatings, paints, and sealants — its courtyard layout and multistory design make the building an elegant place for the artists who live and work there.

Outpost is one of 17 projects honored in the 2009 AIA Housing Awards. Through the awards program, now in its ninth year, the American Institute of Architects recognizes excellent residential design and seeks to promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource.

Houses by the Firm of the Year

Outpost exemplifies the sensitive approach of Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen, which received the AIA Architecture Firm Award for 2009. Principal Tom Kundig led design on both Outpost and the Montecito Residence in Montecito, California.

Located in fire-prone Toro Canyon, the Montecito Residence (not pictured here) is long and slender in form with a distinctive upward-pointing roof. Extensive concrete provides thermal mass, helping keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer, while the long central hallway helps channel off-shore breezes from the nearby Pacific.   >>>

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