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2020 Award Winners



Mixed-Use Community, Multifamily




Little Italy, San Diego, California

Architect/Designer | AO Architects

Builder | Ledcor Group

Developer | HG Fenton

Photographer | Chet Frohlic

This seven-story, mixed-use project evokes the familial bonds, warmth and welcome that have permeated San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood for generations. The 97-unit project resurrects an open, informal Old World charm for a new generation, with flowing relationships between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Originally a public right-of-way, a new public piazza is defined, gathering residents, neighbors and visitors to participate in community life. The lobby flows from an interior courtyard out into the Piazza della Famiglia, celebrating the building’s landmark relationship to the neighborhood. The piazza is a key connection point that allows pedestrians to safely traverse two busy streets and to the public parking structure located below the piazza. As the pedestrian moves around the building, an inviting series of commercial spaces seamlessly weave into the bustling street life. A historic façade has been preserved and restored; its transom windows were uncovered to shed new light into a fresh genesis of retail concepts. Five stories of luxury residences extend the project’s themes with large windows and livable balconies that connect the interior environment with the ebb and flow of street life. Top-floor lofts and an expansive skydeck provide open vistas and harbor views.

From the Judges
The judges praised the array and number of onsite features. They noted that it gives back to the community with the plaza and open space.

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