The American Institute of Architects (AIC) has honored Community Corporation of Santa Monica for the design of its new building at 26th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard as one of 13 honor awards selected nationwide.

Calling it “a ray of hope,” the institute praised the way the architects for the project “used the light and breezes, which are free, wonderfully. The building is beautiful in a clean-scrubbed way while creating a safe haven,” the American Institute of Architects jurors wrote.

The building, housing 44 low- and moderate-income families, was designed by Kanner Architects, which devised a pattern for the structure of white walls, colorful panels and Hardie siding, a durable man-made composite that has the appearance of wood, according to the institute.

The site, which is on a busy street, maximizes a view of the sunsets, private balconies, and a large courtyard to bring light and space to the residents’ daily lives, according to the institute.

“The ground floor was a real challenge,” acknowledged Stephen Kanner, president of Stephen Kanner Architects. “By setting back the ground-floor units and creating small courtyards in front, and strategically designing the glass with translucent glazing, you get privacy and light.”

The building received the international award, along with the renovated, Griffith Park Observatory, as well as 11 other architectural projects outside Los Angeles. Community Corporation of Santa Monica owns and manages about 80 buildings of various sizes in Santa Monica.