Announcing the 2020 Dwell Design Awards Finalists

Here are the front-runners for Community Pick across eight categories.
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We asked, you voted. The contenders for Community Pick in the Dwelling, Renovation, Prefab, Small Space, Garden, Kitchen, Bathroom, and Object categories represent the cutting edge of design. Take a look at what Dwell readers have judged to be the best of the best—and stay tuned to see the final winners of the 2020 Dwell Design Awards, to be announced January 12.


Branch House by TOLO Architecture

Set in a grove of coastal oaks, this art-filled home by TOLO Architecture has survived fire and flood.

Built for a scholar, Casa Biblioteca is a sanctuary for reading, stargazing, and enjoying a cigar or two.

Inspired by ancient ruins, Frankie Pappas crafts a green-roofed, brick guesthouse that connects deeply with nature.

A house in Sydney combats climate change with its own ecosystem.

A derelict courtyard residence gets revitalized with a sinuous, glass-walled pathway.

Timmins + Whyte carves out a sun-soaked haven in a heritage-listed Melbourne home.

Designed by a little-known architect in 1949, the now streamlined home honors its original bones.

Will Gamble Architects revives a crumbling, 17th-century structure with a svelte addition of steel, brick, and glass.

With an off-the-grid house on a remote mountain, architect Smiljan Radić rebuilds the past.

Assembled in just two weeks, the idyllic retreat near Woodstock, New York, realizes a couple’s dream of rural living.

Ready for life on land or water, the net-zero LilliHaus is a plug-and-play prefab by SysHaus.

The Japanese "no-brand" masters of minimalism unveil the first single-story design in their line of prefab homes.

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy of organic architecture, this vintage airstream has a pared-down interior filled with natural materials.

At 23 years old, self-taught designer Mariah Hoffman set out to craft her own 156-square-foot sanctuary.

Winkelman Architecture delivers grown-up summer-camp vibes with this unassuming retreat on the coast of Maine.

Two rentable dwellings suspended from living trees bring a couple’s dream to life.

Combining neutral tones, natural materials, and indoor/outdoor living, Am House is a reprieve from the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City.

Design, Bitches turns a typical Atwater Village home into a lush hideaway with a new, cedar-clad guesthouse.

The monolithic Casa Sierra Fría by industrial designer Hector Esrawe conceals a verdant interior with an imposing brick front.

Apart from the structural work and technical fittings, nearly everything was built by hand.

Three sets of steel-framed French doors lead from the side garden into a high-ceilinged, open-plan expanse containing a chef’s kitchen and a living/dining area.

Rich black soapstone counters wrap black-matte IKEA cabinets, and appliances are hidden behind cabinet fronts so the room recedes. Storage now extends under the windows and lines the dining area, where the table and chairs were both Craigslist finds.

The light-filled kitchen is outfitted with MadeMeasure leather pulls and handles, Maximum Australia Porcelain Panel countertops in Bright Onyx, and IE Francis leather pendants that hang above the Victorian Ash island bench.

Modern green cabinetry contrasts brightly with the home’s historic shell. Custom triangular brass pulls designed by the architects echoe the brass accents on the nearby threshold between the living and dining rooms. The island top is Marmoleum, while the counter along the wall is stainless steel, which syncs with the Bertazzoni range.

In the en suite bath on the second floor, a concrete floor gives way to a round, tiled, double-height space that culminates in a skylight. Plants hang on either side of a custom shower-head from Still Bathrooms. The faucets is from Crestial and the pendants are from Spazio Lighting.

The glazed corner detail allows natural light to flood the shower in the master bathroom.

An homage to Japanese culture, the bathing area includes a steam room and a custom hinoki ofuro (soaking tub) next to a Ming aralia tree. "The house is very particular, and in some ways it’s very ‘designed,’ but it’s also really informal," says designer Stella Betts.

Screened by a slatted wood wall, the see-through shower in the master bathroom straddles indoors and out. The 69 Shower column in by JEE-O.


Lolly Lolly Ceramics 100 Day Project
Last December, Columbus-based ceramicist Lalese Stamps of Lolly Lolly put the final glaze on her 100 Day Project, wherein she designed and fired a mug a day for 100 straight days, each with a wildly different handle (think chains and untouchable spikes).
Campagna Sit, Set Chair
Portland-based designer Cody Campanie makes the case that perhaps the wheel does need reinvention. Guided by a belief that design should respond to the fundamental human behaviors—to sit, sleep, keep—Campanie created his Sit, Set Chair as a streamlined synthesis of seat and table.
Noori V01
Brazilian design team Noori—a designer, an environmental engineer, and an architect—devised this Swiss Army–style combination grill, pizza oven, rocket stove, and fire pit, elevating what we know about outdoor living.
UMÉ Studio Zabuton Sofa
Deeply rooted in Japanese design and developed in collaboration with Kyoto-based Takaokaya, UMÉ Studio’s Zabuton Sofa is named for the cushion traditionally used on tatami mats.


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