Category Archives: Low-Rise Housing

Cape Ann Townhomes

  • cape-ann1
  • cape-ann2
  • cape-ann3
  • cape-ann4
  • cape-ann5


Huntington Beach, CA


John Laing Homes

Lot Area:

10.4 Acres


146 Townhomes
2-story & 3-story Units

Unit Size:

1,300-1,830 sf 


14 du/ac

1999 Gold Nugget Grand Award
Best Affordable Project

The site organization incorporates popular ‘new urbanism’ textures in an attempt to provide an architecture of community.  The homes are arranged, typically, in clusters of six or eight dwellings that are accessed in two ways.  Resident (automobile) access is through attached garages which are rear-loaded, while guest and/or pedestrian access is either from a shared walk-street/common area or directly from a sidewalk connected to a community driveway.  Home entries are typically identified and enhanced through the use of front porches adjacent to these shared access routes.

The project entry incorporates a diagonal street focusing on the primary recreation space which serves as a focal point for the community.

Latitude 33 – Beach Townhomes

Latitude 33 – Beach Townhomes

Marina Del Rey, CA


Standard Pacific Homes

Lot Area:

2.1 Acres – 92,000 sf


50 Luxury Condos

Unit Sizes:

1,835 – 1901 sf


23.9 du/ac

2012 Gold Nugget Grand Award
Best Multi-Family Housing Project

Inspired by Southern California’s coveted “strand home,” generous front patios of 22 of the three-story row townhouses line a walk path along the historic and now-restored Venice Canal. The canal path connects to a perpendicular walk, accessing interior units and offering access to the canal, and water views to those too.

Each unit is entered via its front patio to a flexible ground level room which may be used as a family room, office or bedroom. There is an accessible foot path, and a two-car garage accessed from a rear driveway. The middle levels have open, spacious living-dining-kitchen arrangements, with reading nooks and tall windows inviting ocean breezes and cross-ventilation. Third levels are configured with two or three bedrooms and two baths, including generous master suites and laundry rooms.

The contemporary expression is at home in its beach-urban setting. Projecting bays differentiate individual units. There are large window openings set against small, vertical against horizontal in abstract compositions; white plaster contrasting with warm tones, silver aluminum, and glass garage doors.

  • latitude331
  • latitude332
  • latitude333
  • latitude334
  • latitude335
  • latitude336

Capri Courts

Capri Courts

Playa Vista, CA


Lee Homes

Lot Area:

1.4 Acres


23 Townhouses

Unit Size:

1,700 sf to 2,700 sf


16 du/ac

This is a high density cluster housing project in a very upscale market. The homes are planned in three clusters, each organized around an enriched automobile court. Each floor plan in the community is designed with two different entry configurations. When a house is located within the interior of a cluster, its front door is positioned toward the auto court. Homes that are located on the street perimeter have been designed to place the front door adjacent to the public sidewalk. As a result, the small community embraces the neighborhood rather than turning its back.

The home designs are of two and a half and three stories, which help to achieve such a high density for individual houses. Each home is provided with a small private yard, in addition to a series of raised terraces.

The architectural character varies with context of a Mediterranean palette. One will find a mixture of thoughtfully detailed Spanish, Tuscan, and Italianate architecture.

  • capri-courts1
  • capri-courts2
  • capri-courts3
  • capri-courts4
  • capri-courts5

Cedarbrook – Peridot @ Niles


Fremont, CA


Regis Homes of Northern CA

Lot Area:

3.81 Acres


27 Single Family Homes


7 du/ac

Cedarbrook is a 27-home infill development located in the Niles Historical District of  Fremont, California.  While maximizing the allowable density and conforming to the unique shape of the site, the project offers five different floor plans that range in size from 1,650 to 2,400 sf in variant architectural styles.  Rich and inviting landscaping enhances this financially viable development of distinctly styled homes making it an asset to the existing neighborhood.

  • cedarbrook1
  • cedarbrook2
  • cedarbrook3
  • cedarbrook4
  • cedarbrook5



Calabasas, CA


Multiple Owners

Lot Area:

5 Acres – 22,000 sf

1994 Elan Award of Merit
Best Architectural Design Luxury Home

This single-family development features luxury homes that range from 3,900 to 4,600 sf on half-acre lots.  Individual floor plans feature grand staircase entrances and foyers, sunken living rooms, volume ceilings and large master suites.  Exteriors feature deeply recessed windows and large overhangs.

  • clairidge1
  • clairidge2
  • clairidge3
  • clairidge4
  • clairidge5

Classics @ Heritage Park


Culver City, CA


Braemar Urban Ventures, 
The Lee Group &
ERAS – Educational Resource and Services of Culver City


9 Acres


57 Single-Family Homes

2000 Gold Nugget Award of Merit
Best Residential – Residence 2

2000 Gold Nugget Award of Merit
Best Residential – Residence 3

Formerly the site of the Studio Drive-In Theatre in Culver City, CA, this redevelopment project includes the masterplan for fifty-seven single-family homes, a community park and a school for children with learning disabilities, over 9 acres.  VTBS designed 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom detached homes ranging from 1,880sf to 2,180sf in a variety of cottage, craftsman and Mediterranean styles.  Additionally, VTBS designed the 45,000 sf ERAS Center (Educational Resource and Service) Headquarters, school facilities and a community park on the remaining site.  ERAS provides education training and other services for developmentally disabled children and adults.

  • classics-at-heritage-park1
  • classics-at-heritage-park2
  • classics-at-heritage-park3
  • classics-at-heritage-park4
  • classics-at-heritage-park5



Irvine, CA


John Laing Homes

Gross Lot Area:

14.3 Acres

Net Lot Area:

10.4 Acres


167 Single-Family Homes

Gross Density:

11.7 du/ac

Net Density:

16 du/ac

This six-unit cluster blueprint is planned on a grassy area with each cluster designed within a compact footprint, precluding the need for fire department truck access and are accessed off a thirty-six foot wide loop street that provides parallel parking for guests on both sides.

There are 4 unit types ranging from a 1,600 sf 2-bedroom with loft design to a 2,000 sf 3-bedroom plan.  All units have an attached two-car garage.  Each home is also provided with a private yard/patio of 700 sf minimum, most being much larger.

The Architecture is inspired by cottages one might see in the French, Spanish and Italian countrysides.  Gentle curves in roof shapes and facades, along with shutters, window planter boxes, and thoughtful detailing enhance the warmth of the elevations.  Several color schemes are utilized to add variety and texture to the community.

  • cobblestone1
  • cobblestone2
  • cobblestone3
  • cobblestone4
  • cobblestone5

New Dana Strand


Wilmington, CA



Mercy Housing of California

Lot Area:

23 Acres – 1,000,000 sf


116 Attached Townhomes

Total Units:

412 Units


18 du/ac

2008 Gold Nugget Award of Merit
Best Affordable Project Under 30 du/ac

This 100% affordable townhouse project is part of a larger master plan developed by the firm which is to also include several other residential components serving households of various size, stage of life and income level.

Formerly a failed public housing project plagued by crime, gang activity and social problems, and at odds with the surrounding community, the approach to the replacement project was to knit the surrounding street pattern into the new development.

Three-story townhouses placed in traditional row house fashion line the streets. Direct-entry garages are alley accessed. “Defensible space” design techniques, such as front stoops, and windows placed as “eyes on the street”, are used to engage residents with their neighborhood, creating a sense of place and pride, and help avoid the patterns of isolation and decay of the former project.

Individual entries, varied roof forms and color contrasts provide a sense of individuality to each home; front yards with attractive landscaping, sidewalks and street trees provide an attractive residential setting.

Included in the project is a Life Long Learning Center with community rooms, classrooms and recreation facilities, as well as a public park with sports fields. These are placed at the center of the project and will also serve the apartments, senior housing and single family homes which will form the larger community.

  • new-dana-strand-9
  • new-dana-strand-4
  • new-dana-strand-12
  • new-dana-strand-11
  • New-Dana-Strand-Lifelong-Learning-Ctr

Santa Monica Beach Houses

Santa Monica Beach Houses

Pacific Coast Highway
Santa Monica, CA


Marios Saavides, West Development

Lot Area:

2,500 sf


7,500 sf

These three houses situated on the beach in Santa Monica, CA are all 3-story homes with amazing mountain and ocean views.  They are a contemporary interpretation of a seaside coastal vernacular with Victorian touches and were completed in 1999.  These homes are a clever solution to difficult site constraints.  Two of the homes have a 2-car garage, 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.  The third home has a 3-car garage, 3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.  All three models have a media room and ample kitchen space.

“I have always loved wood clapboard beach cottages and skinny 17-feet wide houses (my Dutch heritage).”
– Johannes Van Tilburg, FAIA

  • santamonica-beah-houses1
  • santamonica-beah-houses2
  • santamonica-beah-houses3
  • santamonica-beah-houses4
  • santamonica-beah-houses5



Palo Alto, CA


Multiple Families

Lot Areas:

Approximately 1,800 sf

Wisteria is a 12-unit infill development with New Urbanist design cues.  The project consists of three basic plans of up to 1,500 sf with traditional cottage exterior detailing.

The color schemes and exterior elevation variations were carefully planned to provide the feel of a classic, older neighborhood.  Garage entrances are placed at the rear of the homes with center-planted driveways, providing a buffer between living spaces.  Front porches define entries and promote interaction with neighbors along the landscaped street, which incorporated existing old growth trees.

  • wisteria-1
  • wisteria-2
  • wisteria-3
  • wisteria-4
  • wisteria-5