Back to Index

2023 Award Winners


Single-Family Custom

On-the-Boards Single-Family Custom Home


The Viharas Villa Upekka

Wow! Award

Southern California

Architect/Designer | LUNO Design Studio

Landscape Architect/Designer | Pamela Burton & Company

Interior Designer | LUNO Design Studio

Photographer | LUNO Design Studio

The request for this small-scale development was to conceive of these homes as wellness retreats where the overall experience of the community would be focused on meditation and personal spiritual practices. The site, at a macro level, was imagined as a zen garden where the round pools of each home are the focus of each individual residential experience. The homes radiate around each pool, drawing focus to the constant center.

The branding of the site references the Buddhist Brahmavihara as a means to help set the tone for the development and give the individual homes a point of inspiration to promote individuality within the community. The characteristics of each Vihara helped inform the siting of each home as well as the massing strategy and allocation of programmatic elements.

The spiritual color story of each Vihara carries through the interiors of each home and into the selection of the planting palette. Each home is given a specific tree species. This tree greets the owners at the center of each motor court. It exists in solitude in the rear yard as a green meditation pavilion, and it lines its own meditative path that meanders the extent of the property along the coastline.

From the Judges
This house is an experience. In a category of unique homes, it stands out. It celebrates the fantasy of what can be dreamed up and really shows where innovative design can go. The concept is worth applauding, especially in being able to communicate your vision in a succinct and clear way.

Thank you to our Supporters

Media Partner