AIA Housing Awards 2010
by Brian Libby
The Safari Drive multifamily residential complex in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, exemplifies a higher-density, pedestrian-scaled alternative to the exploding sprawl of greater Phoenix. Designed by The Miller Hull Partnership, it succeeds as design in the broadest sense: place-making that intertwines architecture, planning, and landscape.
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Safari Drive is one of 18 projects honored by the American Institute of Architects in the 2010 AIA Housing Awards. In this tenth annual cycle, the awards program recognizes projects in the categories of one- and two-family custom residences, one- and two-family production homes, multifamily, and specialized housing.
Among this year's winners, several projects incorporated elements of sustainable design, from an energy-efficient home addition in Minneapolis to a dorm for a yoga retreat in Massachusetts and transparent experimental housing in New York City.
Density in Scottsdale
Located on a 4.8-acre (1.9-hectare) site, Safari Drive's first phase comprises five buildings, including 95 condominium units, 17,000 square feet (1,600 square meters) of live-work lofts and 10,000 square feet (900 square meters) of ground-floor retail space. An additional 70 condo units are planned for the second phase, along with parking and amenities.
Safari Drive incorporates a number of passive design strategies to mitigate the desert heat and minimize environmental impact, such as deep roof overhangs and a high-performance envelope. A "cooling tower" in the central public courtyard passively cools the space using a simple, wind-driven technology derived from traditional Middle Eastern desert architecture.
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