The Best of LaCantina 2020: Competition Winners Announced!

This year’s winning projects take the concept of indoor-outdoor living to a whole new level.

Architizer Editors Architizer Editors

Architizer is delighted to announced the winners for one of this year’s most inspiring design competitions. The 4th Annual “The Best of LaCantina” attracted entries from architecture and design firms around the world, each integrating LaCantina’s stunning doors and windows into their projects in innovative ways. The projects ranged widely in location, building type and scale, but they all share one thing in common: Their use of LaCantina products allows for a seamless connection between inside and out, framed by beautiful, durable materials.

Without further ado, here are the standout designs from this year’s competition, projects that truly encapsulate “The Best of LaCantina”.

Best in Show: Bienville House by Nathan Fell Architecture, New Orleans, LA

Photos by Justin Cordova

Nathan Fell Architecture scooped the “Best in Show” Award with Bienville House, a new house in New Orleans that rethinks the limitations of indoor home life on a small urban lot. Using LaCantina’s aluminum multi-slide glass doors, the architects created a poly-access opening to the exterior, including a pool that is partially covered by the structure above. The front unit façade is glazed from floor to ceiling as well with 15’ wide sliding panels opening to a deck flanking the front sidewalk.

Best Suburban Project: Kansas Avenue by AAHA Studio, Santa Monica, CA

AAHA Studio took the “Best Suburban” Award for Kansas Avenue, a new residence in Santa Monica for a family of 5. For this contemporary home, the architects designed a very large opening to provide seamless flow from the interior great room to the exterior backyard. LaCantina doors sit flush in the poured concrete floors and pocket into a poured-in-place concrete column pocket.

Best Rural Project: River Point Home by Randall J. Kipp Architecture Inc., Callao, VA

Photos by Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Randall J. Kipp Architecture received the “Best Rural” Award for the stunning River Point Home, a 2,800 square foot residence situated on a small peninsula just off the Potomac River. With polished concrete floors and reclaimed heart pine posts and beams, the residence was designed to symbiotically connect the interior spaces with the beautiful natural surroundings. Large 6’ wide x 10’ tall door panels by LaCantina maximize views of the water on three sides of the home and glide smoothly with minimal effort.

Best Urban Project: Mama’s House by Studio Jhoiey Inc, Los Angeles, CA

Photos by Jhoiey Ramirez

Studio Jhoiey secured the “Best Urban” Award with Mama’s House, a new-build retirement home for the designer’s mother. The home is filled with clean lines and unique details, with bifold doors completely opening up at the back to blend interior and exterior spaces. LaCantina doors facilitate the flow between the back patio and the kitchen/dining room. LaCantina’s minimal profile and ability to customize sizing provided the perfect solution to open up the space.

Best Commercial Project: Golestan School by Stromberg Architecture, El Cerrito, CA

Photos by Justin Kaneps

Stromberg Architecture scooped the “Best Commercial” Award for its transformation of a vacant parochial school built in 1954. The architects recognized that the classrooms could be adapted to maximize passive daylighting & natural ventilation strategies with the use of LaCantina systems. They added sliding doors to the classrooms that lead to new outdoor classrooms, and converted the playground to a natural & edible schoolyard — all in service of the school’s pedagogy for a natural and multi-sensory learning environment.

Most Innovative Project: Balakrishnan Residence by ThoughtCraft Architects, Chapel Hill, NC

Photos by Mark Herboth Photography

The “Most Innovative” Award went to ThoughtCraft Architects for Balakrishnan Residence, a home that creates a central living space within the landscape. With floor-to-ceiling glass either side, the central room may be fully opened to the meadow for inside-outside living. The two-story home is laid on an east-west axis to maximize the benefits of passive solar throughout the year.

Best Compact Project: Folly by Robert J. Neylan Architects, Ltd. with Riviera Cedar Homes (Builder), Harbert, MI

Photos by Julian Henri Neylan

Robert J. Neylan Architects secured the “Best Compact” Award for Folly, a pavilion in a remote corner of a Michigan estate which serves a retreat from the primary residence. Sited on a stream, the house features 3′ x 12′ folding doors, converting the interior into a covered exterior space. LaCantina Doors helped to create a true indoor / outdoor space with minimal obstructions of the view, while also eliminating the need for air conditioning.

Best Renovation Project: Landsberg House by Stephen Moser Architect, Port Washington, NY

Photos by Michael Biondo

Finally, Stephen Moser Architect received the “Best Renovation” Award for Landsberg House, a sensitive restoration and renovation of a historic mid-century modern home updated for a contemporary Japanese lifestyle. The “floating” rectangular-box structure and simple lines of the house were aesthetically suited to the clients’ design sensibilities and wish list, which included a teppanyaki-cooking island in a kitchen that opened to the living room. LaCantina’s contemporary clad sliders blend seamlessly with the mid-century modern design of the house.

These eight award-winning projects show just a glimpse of the incredible designs produced by architects with the help of LaCantina’s versatile product range. Members of the overall winning team have been rewarded with a trip to a New York City AEC industry event of their choosing in 2021, while the honorable mentions will also be published on

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