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And the Winners of the 2021 Dwell Design Awards Are...

We’re thrilled to share the projects that wowed our expert judges panel and our readers this year.

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The annual Dwell Design Awards recognize the most exceptional homes and products that we have featured throughout the year. Our 2021 jury judged the functionality and beauty of each project, taking into account the complex demands placed on the modern home. Together, the winners present an optimistic vision for how we can live more thoughtfully, sustainably, and beautifully.

Dwellings

Winner: Casa Ter by Mesura

Mesura designed a retreat for a family of five in the Catalonian countryside, utilizing regional and artisanal building techniques and local materials for a sustainable home that blends with the landscape. 

Photo by Salva López

 "This environmentally conscious design celebrates the use of local materials and blends naturally into the landscape."

—Tosin Oshinowo, founder and principal of cmDesign Atelier 

Runner-Up: UC House by Daniela Bucio Sistos

Designed by Daniela Bucio Sistos, this brick-and-concrete residence on the outskirts of Morelia, Mexico, is anchored by a central open-air foyer that frames a library displaying the owners’ collection of more than 15,000 works.

Photo by Dane Alonso

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Community Pick: Greenhouse Home by Margit-Kristine Solibakke Klev

In a remote Norwegian forest, a family home sprouts inside a luminous greenhouse.

Photo by Nadia Norskot; Styling by Maria Hove Vestre

Renovations

Winner & Community Pick: Loom House by The Miller Hull Partnership

On Bainbridge Island in Washington, Charlie Hellstern Interior Design and the Miller Hull Partnership created the first residential remodel to achieve Living Building Challenge certification. 

Photo: Rafael Soldi

 "A great example of how sustainable systems are integrated into the design to make a beautiful living space in a stunning context."

—Chris Cornelius, founding principal of Studio:Indigenous

Runner-Up: Casa Keçe by Alix and Onur Keçe 

In a nature preserve outside Paris, two creative directors turned an 1892 residence into a colorful country home as an escape for their young family.

Photo by Alejandra Hauser

Prefabs

Winner: Caterpillar by Undecorated and Studio Detroit

Undecorated and Studio Detroit sliced up a prefab Quonset hut to create a series of light-filled dwellings in Detroit, Michigan.

Photo: Jason Keen

"This is an ingenious and low-cost way of creating rather remarkable residential space for so many people."
—Barbara Bestor, founding principal of Bestor Architecture 

Runner-Up: Casa Mirador by Rama Estudio

To turn a home into a permanent residence for a family of four, Rama Estudio attached a prefab glass-and-steel box that extends into the surrounding wilderness. 

Photo by JAG Studio

Community Pick: C-Home by LOT-EK

With a prefab structure near Hudson, LOT-EK—the pioneers of shipping container architecture—make a new case for the genre.

Photo: Pippa Drummond

Small Spaces

Winner: Jesse’s House by Jobe Corral Architects

This micro-house in East Austin’s Community First! Village, a development of permanent, affordable housing, was designed by Jobe Corral Architects with input from its occupant, Jesse Brown, who had previously spent 30 years without a home.

Photo: Benjamin Rasmussen

"This tiny house finds a way to not sacrifice the spaces of social interface other homes have, like a screen porch. These kinds of spaces not only raise the quality of living for the inhabitant, they create important spaces for engaging others."

—Chris Cornelius 

Runner-Up: Seroro House by Smaller Architects

Minwook Choi of Smaller Architects designed his own family home on a 355-square-foot lot in Seoul, South Korea. The project’s name, Seroro, means "vertical" in Korean—and the home consists of a tower of sunlit rooms stacked five stories high.

Photo by Byun Jongseok

Community Pick: Rocky Mountain Micro Cabin by Nathalie and Greg Kupfer

Thanks to their savvy with salvaged materials and knack for bartering, Nathalie and Greg Kupfer constructed this micro-cabin for less than $50 in net costs.

Photo: Grant Harder

Gardens

Winner: Mit Chit House by Looklen Architects

In Bangkok, this family residence by Looklen Architects features four different courtyards with trees that stretch beyond its double-height interiors. 

Photo by Varp Studio

"Lovely—it gives the feeling of being elevated among the trees."

—Tosin Oshinowo 

Runner-Up: Chiapas 168 by Vertebral

In the Roma district of Mexico City, Vertebral designed a four-unit apartment building that grants its residents access to verdant terraces.

Photo by Onnis Luque

Community Pick: Five Yard House by Miro Rivera Architects

Miró Rivera Architects celebrated this century-old home’s history while introducing a breezy addition with charismatic courtyards.

Photo by Paul Finkel | Piston Design

Kitchens

Winner & Community Pick: Round House by Feldman Architecture

Feldman Architecture reimagined a 1960s residence for a Los Altos family, placing a circular kitchen with an oculus at the center of the home.

Photo by Adam Rouse

"This kitchen is literally the hub of the house. Brilliantly detailed and intentionally programmed."

—Tosin Oshinowo

Runner-Up: Bent Street by Kim Kneipp

In redesigning a Melbourne Victorian, designer Kim Kneipp used recycled wood to create a curvy, custom kitchen.

Photo: Lisa Cohen

Bathrooms

Winner: House Recast by Studio Ben Allen

Ben Allen renovated this old Victorian in London using a rainbow of colored concrete. One of the new bathrooms is cast in mossy green with an arch motif that appears throughout the home.

Photo by French + Tye

"This bathroom looks like a work of art."

—Jared Blake, founder of Lichen

Runner-Up & Community Pick: River House by SAAD

In designing a holiday home for a client in Hokkaido, Japan, SAAD created a bathroom with an onsen that frames views of the lush landscape.

Photo by Ikuya Sasaki


Furniture

Winner: 

Russet The Sidekick

Meet your new Sidekick. Crafted from FSC certified wood, easy to assemble, and even easier to take apart— I was thoughtfully designed to travel along with you, wherever life may lead.

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"The easy-to-assemble Sidekick! Everyone needs this in their home."

—Tosin Oshinowo 

Runner-Up: Iklwa Lounge Chair by Benchmark Furniture

Benchmark Iklwa Lounge Chair

Drawing on his African-Caribbean heritage, Mac Collins designed the Iklwa Lounge Chair (2018) to empower and enhance its subject. The design was informed by ideas of Afrocentrism and Afrofuturism, references that can be seen in its spear-shaped arms and a curved, shield-like back. Crafted of FSC-certified oak or walnut, the chair is finished with a natural, low VOC, hard wax oil, which is a hard wearing finish that keeps the timber looking and feeling as natural as possible. To create Iklwa, Collins worked with the British bespoke furniture company Benchmark, known for its impeccable craftsmanship. Made in the U.K.

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Community Pick: The Hearth by Industrial Craft

Industrial Craft The Hearth

An electric fireplace for the contemporary home. Inspired by one of the oldest rituals in human history, the Hearth re-imagines the experience of cuddling up around a fire to be more accessible for the largest and fastest growing population in the world: urban dwellers.

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Lighting

Winner & Community Pick:

Tala x David Weeks Table Lamp

In what is Tala’s first international collaboration, New York design veteran David Weeks has offered a playful take on some of Tala’s most celebrated light bulb designs, creating four sleek table lamps reflecting the form and finish of the bulbs in their base volume.

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"We love a light that looks great on or off, and this fits the bill."

—Jared Blake

Runner-Up:

Mash.T Tutu 2.0

Inspired by Xibelani skirts worn by Xitsonga women to celebrate their culture. Voted Most Beautiful Object in South Africa. The Tutu has been purchased by Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, including it in the museum’s permanent collection.

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Accessories

Winner & Community Pick:

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Level Portable WiFi Speaker

Superior sound in a minimalist, portable design with up to 16 hours of battery life. Beosound Level reinvents flexible home audio. Any room. Any position. Any moment. Beosound Level lets you move with your music in new ways at home, without ever compromising on sound quality. Enjoy a flawless listening experience in beautiful, portable form. A powerful five-driver set up delivers immersive, full-range sound that adapts based on the speaker's orientation. Discover dynamic bass when laid flat, unmatched clarity when upright or an enveloping soundstage when wall mounted. Active room compensation enables Beosound Level to adapt audio quality to complement any space—whether big, small, busy or sparse. The result: a clear, detailed listening experience at all times.

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"A beautifully minimalist yet functional item."

—Tosin Oshinowo

Runner-Up:

Ichendorf Milano Cactus Jug 3

Watch as this jug comes to life when you use it for juice or a punch. With a design is inspired by cacti the handles are used to maximize liquid capacity. Made out of a lightweight and durable glass.

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See the full list of 2021 Dwell Design Awards nominees here.

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