Award of Excellence
A Residential Design Award of Excellence is given for the restoration of the Netsch House (1972-74), the personal residence of Walter Netsch, a daring and unconventional architect known for his fractal-like designs informed by his “field theory” design philosophy. The restoration was led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), where Netsch worked from 1947-79. With this close connection to the original creator underlying the restoration process, the design team sought to maintain the spirit of the house while enhancing the expansive sense of movement, materiality, and light within the small space. Interior renovation choices included: painting surfaces a soft white to complement natural light from the skylights, installing minimal railings, creating custom furniture, and adding concealed sliding doors. These design choices prioritized the unique spatial experience while renewing select elements and transforming the space into a fully functioning and safe home for its owners.
The project has “a great narrative arc, and the execution is thoughtful and practical. It retains its quirks among conscientious design choices.”
- Kelsey Keith, 2021 Jury member
"The team mapped everything, taking great attention to detail and really understanding the original intent.”
Will Forrest and Mark Smithe
Brian Lee (Design Partner); Jonathan Stein (Managing Partner); Jaime Velez (Interior Design Director; Dickson Whitney III (Project Manager); Michelle Mirrielees (Interior Designer)