Congregation Beth Shalom Synagogue
Completed in May 2008 for an estimated cost just shy of $12 million, this project by Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects couples two strong forms into a cohesive whole. The masonry sanctuary is conceived of as a vessel floating in water, with the support structure ending in a radiant cube. A central courtyard both joins and separates the social and administrative spaces from the sanctuary, which is accessed by rising up through the building in a spiral.
Naylor & Chu netted an Honor Award for this unbuilt design, which imagines a future without FEMA trailers. This sustainably constructed emergency structure can be transported inside a single shipping container, rendering it a viable option for medium-to-long term disaster-relief housing. The wooden-slatted facade can be quickly adjusted to provide shade in hot climates or privacy in densely populated areas.
This green home, designed by Rothschild Schwartz takes a cue from prarie-style sod houses to blend seamlessly into its surroundings. Situated on the Wolfback Ridge near Sausalito, California, the architects solved an unsual problem: the occupants, who are nearing 90, wished to have access to the house from all sides. Thus, the house is ingeniously placed to bridge a sloping site, where it fits like a puzzle piece into the hilly terrain.