These nine projects elevate the aesthetic without breaking the bank:
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Idea: Todd Masters launched Folioleaf, an online gallery promoting handmade prints by emerging and mid-career artists, perfect for fine-art enthusiasts who couldn't afford originals.
Project: Camping Marina di Venezia
Location: Cavallino-Treporti, Italy
Idea: At Camping Marina di Venezia in Cavallino-Treporti, Docservis Hall of Fame member Matteo Thun demolished the existing vacation accommodations and replaced them with 32 two-bedroom, 650-square-foot-units—while preserving a grove of umbrella pine trees.
Project: Affordable-housing prototype
Location: Los Angeles
Idea: Elevating the everyday. That was Michael Lehrer's goal when Lehrer Architects was commissioned to design an affordable-housing prototype for depressed areas of Los Angeles. The nonprofit real-estate developer Restore Neighborhoods LA had handed him a threefold challenge: Eradicate the blight, retain the character, and do it for just $165 a square foot.
Project: Porter Novelli office
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Idea: Stretching the footprint without bloating the lease is every client's fantasy. But TVS Design made the improbable a reality when renovating Porter Novelli's 10,600 square feet in Atlanta. Perimeter offices remain, but as internal workstations gave way to teamwork zones, seating capacity soared from 57 to 82.
Project: Tanatorio Funeraria Campo de Cartagena
Idea: Prominent signage in thermoplastic and aluminum, looming above a plain facade of textured cement aggregate, achieves a graphic punch reminiscent of Ed Ruscha.
Project: Sala de Despiece
Idea: Seeking to set his latest tapas bar apart, on a Madrid street chockablock with similar joints, chef Javier Bonet took OHLab/Oliver Hernaiz Architecture Lab's Jaime Oliver and Paloma Hernaiz to the capital's bustling butcher shops for inspiration.
Location: Lake Isabella, California
Idea: On a yearlong sabbatical in the desert, Hunter Leggitt led seven university student apprentices as they built a weekend retreat from scavenged supplies.
Project: Con Artist Collective
Location: New York
Idea: Lowly two-by-fours, mostly recycled from the previous tenant, establish thrifty continuity in a coworking studio for architects, fashion designers, and artists.
Location: New York
Idea: At an e-commerce fashion office, mannequins and shoes are spray-painted as sculpture, and self-designed stencils stand in for pricey paintings.