For this year’s Record Houses issue, we discovered a particularly rich assortment of residential projects. Some are distinguished by an imaginative response to a natural setting, whether the desert, the mountains, wooded hills, or along a waterfront. Others were designed to fit discreetly into dense urban areas—bowing deferentially to the architectural context on a tight site or, in one case, an unusually expansive property in the city. The houses boldly express such materials as poured-in-place concrete, wood planks, glass and steel, or fieldstone. Sizes and budgets range from surprisingly small to very large; forms vary, from an elongated rectilinear volume to a twisted vertical shape. And while the architects look to different modes of vernacular expression—even the gable—they refer as well to their historic predecessors: Le Corbusier’s legacy is clearly alive, even in Tokyo, and Mies, of course, looms over Chicago.