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guest house with mirrored walls surrounded by woods

Concealed Cottage by The Up Studio; Image courtesy The Up Studio

GRAY Media announces the breakout category, visionary finalists for the 7th Annual GRAY Awards.

SEATTLE, Febraury 28, 2024 — Now in its 7th year, GRAY Awards — the international cross-disciplinary design awards program — continues to recognize the outstanding work happening around the world. Finalists have been selected in the fields of ARCHITECTURE, INTERIORS, LANDSCAPE, and PRODUCT DESIGN.

Designers and manufacturers were invited to submit their projects in nine judges categories plus an editors’ pick Design for Good category. An esteemed panel of international design luminaries will select a winner in each of the initial nine categories. The winning designers will receive print and digital recognition as well as a custom designed trophy by acclaimed glass artist John Hogan.

GRAY encourages designers and manufacturers to create "Design for Good" projects —projects that have made a positive impact through design on a humanitarian, community, or environmental issue — and offers an award dedicated to these works each year.

In 2020, when the GRAY Awards expanded from a regional to international program, GRAY added a Legacy Award dedicated exclusively to a Pacific Northwest-based designer's lifetime achievement, honoring the region where GRAY began and the home to the GRAY Awards Parties. GRAY will name the next Legacy at the Party.

Newly introduced at the 6th annual GRAY Awards last year, GRAY added several Breakout Categories, opening up opportunities to win GRAY Awards in micro-categories from Kitchens to Collaborations.

gold foil GRAY Awards logo
All winners will be announced at the GRAY Awards Party in Seattle in March, 2024 at Block 41, Seattle. The party is one of the most highly anticipated design bashes of the year, where all guests are treated like winners.


design judges black and white portraits

It is our privilege each year to welcome an international group of distinguished creatives to the GRAY Awards judging panel. Each working at the top of their game, these professionals now focus a discerning eye on determining the winners of the coveted GRAY Awards trophies.

7th annual GRAY Awards judging panel: Lee Broom, Brigitte Shim, Alessandro Munge, Silvia Tcherassi, Stephen Burks


guest house with mirrored walls surrounded by woods

Concealed Cottage by The Up Studio

Image courtesy The Up Studio

Situated on Long Island's East End, Concealed Cottage is a 1,200 square foot guest house. The clients, who are avid art collectors and permaculture gardeners, wanted a private sanctuary to host both short and long-term guests. Because it was important that guests find themselves immersed in the natural landscape, they wanted a new structure that would preserve as much of the woods as possible.

We addressed these requirements by first shielding the three sides of the cottage that are visible from the street. A single gesture wraps the three solid sides of the cottage in a cocoon of mirrored facade, which disguises the home while reflecting the surrounding woods. The material selection of the solid form takes into consideration the wellbeing of wildlife, including birds; the reflective aluminum panels are treated with a coating that makes it visible to animals.

The interplay between concealed and revealed continues on at the base of the guest house. A new steel frame and CMU block wall sits above the former structure’s foundation and acts as a plinth for the new structure. Partially wrapped in a translucent polycarbonate, the base appears as if it is a band of light beneath a floating rectangular void during darker hours.

The private, fourth side of the cottage faces the water with floor-to-ceiling glazing. The aforementioned cocoon cantilevers over the fully-glazed side of the cottage, offering natural shade that dramatically reduces energy consumption during hot summer months. The angled walls that support the overhanging roof create additional privacy from the homeowners’ primary residence.

Inside the structure, the open gathering areas and two bedrooms face the water and offer expansive views of nature thanks to the window walls. The bedrooms, set back slightly from gathering space, invite additional light into the communal spaces while securing additional privacy. Bathrooms and utilities are placed along the hallway found on the solid, street-facing side of the cottage. Lastly, because the home sits on the existing foundation of the new home, a new lower level serves as a hidden, private gallery area for some of the owners’ cherished artworks.

multi-level housing with green balconies and stairs

Coho House by Tomo Spaces

Photograph by Matheson

Coho House is a “cohousing lite” community for 12 families under one roof in Vancouver, B.C.. As Vancouver housing prices rise faster than income, like other cities in the US and Canada, many middle-income families cannot afford traditional single-family homes. They are looking for more options somewhere between single-family homes and high-rise condos. Coho’s 12 privately-owned homes are designed to offer a new housing choice for intergenerational living — in terms of form, process, and social wellbeing.

Coho is the result of an innovative co-design process that brings the developer and the architect together with the end-user residents in a streamlined way. We call this “cohousing lite.” In the typical cohousing process, the community members actively direct the design and take on the developer role with the budget, time, and scope risks. In cohousing lite, Tomo Spaces and the cohousing group, Our Urban Village, become partners. Tomo is responsible for land acquisition, financing, and project management, while OUV is responsible for membership, governance, and community building. OUV identified a set of 10 critical design decisions that were most important to them, like the “Common House” where they will cook and hang out together. The project's architect, MA+HG, led multiple design workshops with OUV at strategic points in this process.

The three-and-half story, L-shaped building achieves a density (1.6 FSR) similar to that of low-rise apartment buildings, while the single, large roof respects the traditional gable architecture of the single-family and expresses the sharing spirit. Coho features a variety of home sizes, from studios to 3-bedroom townhomes, to support intergenerational living.

By scribing the architectural mass around the south-facing courtyard, the residents can enjoy the outdoor space as their own backyard. Furthermore, placing the Common House -a large 1,000-sf space that functions as a shared kitchen, dining, and social area - adjacently allows the outdoor shared space to
extend indoors.

Coho is built as a Passive House. It has a super-insulated envelope, with triple- pane windows and HRV for fresh air, to minimize energy consumption. Overall, Coho is designed for standard Vancouver lots (approximately 2 x 33’ wide) so it has the potential for greater adoption across the city.

rendering of natural exterior of mixed-use building

Project Best by Open Studio Collective

Image courtesy Open Studio Collective

Project Best is a mixed-use building that integrates seamlessly into the urban fabric, yet also brings contemporary energy to Bozeman, Montana. The project incorporates a pedestrian alley and helps in revitalizing the North 7th Ave corridor. This design exercise has required careful consideration of the local context, culture, and existing architectural elements within the city. The building enhances the urban condition, promoting pedestrian activity, and providing a welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike.

interior of luxury jet with live plants

Image courtesy Greenpoint Technologies, Inc.

Greenpoint Design curated the B777X Zen interior for a distinguished jetsetter with the desire to escape and reconnect with nature. Inspired by the natural flow of a Japanese Zen Garden; Greenpoint designers incorporated biophilic elements including organic greenery and the use of sustainable, neutral materials to create a calm and peaceful environment. The result is a high-technology aircraft cabin featuring a tranquil, modern design. The Zen interior brings luxury and relaxation to flight with seamless connectivity and bespoke details that set the interior apart from a traditional private business jet.

Greenpoint’s Zen interior achieves an elegant, calming cabin environment. Each space offers the highest level of function and adaptability, with adjustable lighting and advanced technology concealed throughout the cabin within the bespoke cabinetry. Whether traveling for business or leisure, the Zen interior provides a comfortable, serene oasis for all passengers onboard.

7th Annual GRAY Awards finalists' announcements began December 18, 2023 and will continue to publish daily until all categories have been announced. For more information, visit our GRAY Awards Party page.


Thank you to our 7th annual GRAY Awards sponsors and industry partners:


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