ArCHdes 2019 Awards

This page represents the 2019 ArCHdes™
(Design Excellence Selection) awards.












This year (2019) there were 19 entries from all across the USA. Wouldn’t your firm look better if it was an Award-Winning company?  Each year, once a year, members of ArCH have the opportunity to become recognized for their good works.  You can’t win if you don’t enter. Remember: if you are a Licensed Architect practicing anywhere on the planet, you can join ArCH here:
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All of the ArCHdes winners represent a positive and substantial VALUE to the project Owners. In other words: the design of each Architect added Value to the project that would otherwise not exist.  One of the reasons for Architects to exist and to continue designing homes for their clients. No other entity provides this level of quality and value: an Architect.




ACM DESIGN Architecture & Interiors
(Amy Conner Murphy)
Asheville, NC, USA

Project: French Contemporary House: ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: Balanced proportions.  Compartmentalized interior, reflecting the client program for occupants.  Sensitively scaled features.  Steep roofs not often seen these days.  Well detailed interior & exterior.  This Architect appears to detail everything and to do it well. Site plan has owner vehicles coming around the left side to the left-oriented garage entrance, separate from the main pedestrian entrance from the front of the house.  Inside, Amy Conner Murphy’s exquisite bathroom designs proliferate, along with her outstanding kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms.  This Architect adds value to the homes she designs for her clients.





Celebration, FL, USA

Project: Florida Contemporary House: ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: This is a substantial home, on a small lot.  The Architect has skillfully pushed the site building setbacks to the limit to make this mansion possible.  And he also fit in a swimming pool and hard and soft landscaped areas, including driveway for the 2 car garage (doors not facing street). The simple exterior belies the spacious and ultra-contemporary interior, which has large, long, open spaces in the main living areas.  This Architect adds value to the homes he designs for his clients.



Charlotte, NC, USA

Project: #1: French Colonial House:  ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comment: What is really remarkable here is that this is a renovation/addition.  The original house has been absorbed into the fabric of the new work.  And it is enormous, giving an impression of grandeur that had to have been part of the program. Crisp, new architectural details at the corner quoins and window headers set off the brick masonry.  Foundation planting softens the exterior walls at the ground plane.  This Architect adds value to the homes he designs for his clients.


Project #2:  Neo-Traditional Spec House: ArCHdes2018 award
Jury Comment: Nice traditional design with well-detailed features.



This is a spec house for an investor, so it’s nice to know that this Architect adds value to the homes he designs, like most ArCH Architects do.


Prescott, AZ, USA

Project: #1: Cumberland House:  ArCHdes2019 award
This is a small house, at which this particular Architect appears to specialize. There are interesting angles in the floor plan, which the Architect uses to expand the functionality of the spaces, to make them appear to be larger than they really are.  He created similar treatments volumetrically with the building sections and elevations, to expand the height of certain interior spaces, making them seem taller than they really are. That’s a pretty good technique.  Very artistic and increases the enjoyment and value of the house.  The Before and After photos illustrate how the Architect de-cluttered an aging, tired older home into a bright, new, light-filled modern piece of art (architecture).  This Architect adds value to the homes he designs and renovates.

Project: #2: Sherman Oaks House:  ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: once again, this Architect shows great creativity with interior angles, often in restrooms, to elevate them far beyond their functionality and into the realm of art, which is of course, the difference between “just a house” and Architecture.  This Architect has a unique gift to renovate existing ho-hum dated houses into something far beyond their original bones.  His bathrooms, in particular, are reminiscent of what one might expect in a high-end Beverly Hills mansion designed for tomorrow.  And yet, these marvels he designed for these small houses that are blessed to have him renovating them.


Project: #3: Tennessee House:  ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: This is an interesting addition to existing structures on the 26 acre site.  it is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath guest house with a sleeping loft/grandchild play area above.  Douglas fir post and beam.  Nicely crafted finishes.  Built for a very low $130/SF construction cost, which is unheard of these days, especially for something as nice as this. Which tells us the Architect is skilled at Value Engineering, which means he adds value to the homes he designs for his clients.


Project: #4: Oxford Square House:  ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: In addition to this Architect’s high-end treatment of bathrooms in this house (as in most of this firm’s entries), the exterior elevations are remarkably advanced and freshly contemporary, especially for a renovation.  This Architect has breathed new life into an aging small house and turned it into a vital light-filled dwelling.  The kitchen is also refreshing and spacious.  This Architect has added value to this home that he renovated.


Project: #5: Highland Park House:  ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: This is a 1921 house that had renovations performed to it over the course of years.  It dated awnings and other older features where removed and carefully changed into an Arts & Crafts style that gives the house more dignity.  The new courtyard pulls together the rear of the house and creates a useful and aesthetic family outdoor space. A new kitchen was added, along with additional HVAC. Under the Architect’s watchful eye, significant value was added to this house, making it a better home.




Chicago, IL & Valley, NE , USA

Project: Lorraine Rd House:  ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: Believe it or not, this is a major addition to an existing house.  The Architect has adroitly renovated interior and exterior features, details and materials to blend the old with the new into a seamless new creation.  The project has a Modern Farmhouse appearance.  A new detached garage was added to the rear of the house, with a new family entrance there, and a large new addition to the right side and rear of the existing house.  A swimming pool was added to the right side of the existing home.  The Architect provided outstanding CGI imagery to help the clients understand the design.  The Architect added significant value to this project.



Los Angeles, CA, USA

Project:  #1: Benedict Canyon Residence: ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: Kurt and his firm are among the best contemporary Architects alive today.  So many things about his projects bear mentioning, but we can’t fit them all in here.  How he handles his paved surfaces are nothing short of pure art.  Check out the edge of the driveway below (which allows for landscaping plants), and the exposed aggregate lines between the standard concrete.  Who else does that? And his garage doors are always several steps above the ordinary.  And this is only an ADDITION.  And like some of our other ArCH Architects, the KK firm creates exquisite bathrooms.  KK does wonderful artistic things at doorways, for instance, where he continues the material, finish and color of the door up over the door, all the way up to the ceiling/soffit.  Or, in some cases, simply makes a custom door to fill the entire height and width of the opening.  Very cool design work.  The Architect added significant value to this project.















And check out how KK continues the bottom step (below) to become a floating seating bench around the corner:

 And here’s the super-slick minimalistic kitchen, dining, living space: (below):


Project:  #2: Hillcrest Residence (historic renovation): ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: This was, for many years, the home of James Bond film producer, Albert Broccoli. Dana Broccoli sold the home to the Architect’s clients.  The home was built in 1926 for a silent film movie star, then later was owned by William Powell.   Architect’s tasks included renovating and adding onto the house and existing hard and soft landscaping.  A daunting chunk of work. The Cultural Heritage Commission had veto rights over the design work.  Modernizing the facility while adding space and still respecting the grand old Movie Era character was a big challenge that the Architect successfully handled.  This is a major project for any Architect, involving millions of dollars and detailed requirements, functionality and administrative restrictions.  Not for the faint of heart.  The Architect added significant value to this project.



Project:  #3: Sycamore Residence : ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: This is a new large custom home. And very unusual for this Architect, who typically prefers creating cutting edge Euro-style and ultra-contemporary homes.  So this one is very different.  It was built to resemble a more traditional architecture, reminiscent of the Newport Style from New England, which just goes to show you how multi-talented and flexible this Architect can be to accommodate his client’s preferences. There is a large sycamore tree in the front yard, which was preserved.  The house was designed around it.  This is a double lot, where 2 older homes were demolished. This is a large home, with New England woodworking details inside and outside.  This project has a transitional quality about it that captured the imaginations of the jurors.  The Architect added significant value to this project.





LaMesa, CA, USA

Project 1: Contemporary Home 1:  ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: Typical of this firm, is the California modern multi-level style.  The clean lines and simple material palette serve to bring the outside in and the inside out, with a nice large swimming pool.  This firm enjoys creating interesting features like the horizontal wood fence/wall that becomes a railing on the 2nd floor and serves as a partial shade wall on the first floor outdoor sitting area.  Glass doors enclose the 3 bay garage on the first floor.  The Architect added significant value to this project.



Project 2: Compact Contemporary Home 2 :  ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: The more the jury looked at the floor plans and 3D imagery and sections and site plan, the more they saw.  This is a remarkable compact, efficient 2-unit house/condominium.  And there’s parking along the left side, end-to-end for 2 vehicles.  There is a small apartment on the ground floor, and another apartment that shares part of the ground floor and has the 2nd floor as part of it.  Then there’s a rooftop outdoor terrace for the 2nd floor condo.  AND it looks fantastic.  A work of art.  Like what Moshe Safdie wanted Habitat 67 to look like (just kidding: we love him).  The Architect added significant value to this project.




Summerville, SC, USA
Jury Comments:This Architect has an amazing depth of design capability.  The firm’s work displays the solid ability to handle historic renovations along with contemporary projects and everything in between.  We believe this Architect can handle any type of residential project successfully. 

Project 1: Marsh Island House: ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: Difficult project handled professionally.   Ocean views are available on 3 sides of the house.  Existing house was not maximizing those views.  The new Architect improved that by adding larger glass areas, adjusting decks, railings and other features to substantially improve those views and improve energy efficiency.  The Architect had a special issue as to the square footage of the house and had to trade old space for new space to have the project comply with legal planning requirements.  The Architect added significant value to this project.



Project 2: House Built Around a Tree: ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: Architect devise new articulate high-end features to create a sense of luxury in this home, which needed to be smaller than usual, to allow the preservation of the huge tree in the center of the lot.  Details had design features, custom crafted to elevate the quality of the architecture.  This was a difficult project.  This is one of the reasons people need Architects.  The Architect added significant value to this project.




Denver, CO, USA

Project 1: Cimarron House: ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: handsome architectural details abound in this project, complete with a wine cellar-type space with masonry vault.  Nice details articulate the defined circulation space.  Great arched timber trusses.  This project quietly and professionally goes about its business, handling everything in a high-quality manner. The Architect added value to this project with the high level design.


Project 2: Cox Addition: ArCHdes2019 award
Jury Comments: This is a complex renovation/addition.  The house was deteriorating and had several significant shortcomings.  New outdoor space was created, garage, steps and other space. New energy efficient features and insulation was installed.  Additions allowed for relatives to visit.  Architect had to obtain a variance for the non-conforming lot.  This was a detailed, difficult project.  Architect estimates a cost-savings of around 20% for his value-engineered solutions.  Obviously the Architect added value to this project while making it work so much better than before.