Chris Dorman of Dorman Associates, Michael Erskine of Integrated Design Studio (IDS) and their respective teams garnered honors at an awards show in San Francisco presented annually to the top innovators in design, planning and development. The competition is open to builders, developers, architects, and land planners with communities and projects across the United States and internationally.
Dorman Associates and IDS won a pair of awards for their work at Flora Farms, “a farm-to-table culinary mecca” in foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in northwestern Mexico. The awards were for “Best Innovative Housing Design” for the Haylofts at Flora Farms, as well as an “Award of Merit for Best Residential Detached Housing in the Cluster Housing 8 to 15 Dwelling Unit Per Acre” category for the Culinary Cottages at Haylofts, also part of the Flora Farms resort project. Dorman Associates also won for “Best Special Use Project” for El Merkado, a 3,500-square-meter marketplace of food shops and eateries in San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico.
In issuing the award to the firms for their work on Flora Farms, the PCBC judging panel said, “Flora Farms should receive special recognition for community innovation and vision, and for the enhancement of the guest experience thru numerous indoor and outdoor lifestyle activities and amenities within the farm environment.”
“We’re thrilled to receive such recognition from leading figures in the homebuilding industry,” says Erksine, whose firm specializes in planning and landscape architecture. “Our unique model emphasizes collaboration between clients and the design team, and we feel Flora Farms is a standout example of the added value this collaboration achieves.”
“With an understanding of communal spaces, we create worlds where people can intersect in an environment of shared interests, in a space that is imagined and created around community and human connection,” Dorman adds. “We design for an environment that is about the interaction of individuals and their relationship to each other.”
Dorman says his firm and IDS benefit from being newcomers to hospitality industry design and eschewing traditional resort architecture.
“It’s a re-imagined experiential architectural style that represents a human centered approach that strives for authenticity and capitalizes on the unique environment at hand, rather than compromising by creating a wholly expected experience,” he says.
This is not the first Gold Nugget Award for Dorman Associates. In 2016, the firm won the PCBC’s top award for Home of the Year for its design of the Flora Farms Cottage, which “captured the judge’s hearts,” according to PCBC’s statement.
Located approximately 10 minutes from Cabo de San Jose, the organic farm resort community of Flora Farms’ Haymarket Lofts feature metal and collapsible glass panel walls that open up to private swimming pools and gathering areas, while uncovered operable windows offer unobstructed views yet are oriented for shade, making the design respectful of both the landscape and the unique nature-driven guest experience.
Dorman and IDS are making a name for themselves with their signature experiential architecture approach not just with Flora Farms and El Merkado, but upcoming developments as well, particularly with Watershed, the new restaurant in the Mill Valley Lumber Yard from Ged Robertson, founder of Small Shed Flatbreads, owner of the Shoreline Coffee Shop and co-founder of the Sweetwater Music Hall & Cafe. Watershed is set to open in the coming months,