Local architecture firms earn awards

MIDDLEBURY — McLeod Kredell Architects in Middlebury recently received the highest level of award for Excellence in Architecture from the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The award was given for the firm’s project “Island Compost Commons” at the North Haven Community School on North Haven Island in Maine.
The project was executed through the firm’s pro-bono community design-build program with students, called “Island Design Assembly.” The program merges practice, teaching, and community work. Each summer the firm brings together a group of college students for one intensive week to design, build, deliver and install a project for an island community in Penobscot Bay, Maine. The team lives completely off-the-grid on a remote island, an hour’s boat ride from the mainland.
This past summer’s project, a “compost commons” for the North Haven Community School, provides the school with three 12-foot-high, triangular composting towers, painted with chalkboard paint and surrounded by modular seats and platforms. The school uses the commons as a composting station, an outdoor classroom, and a gathering space. The towers also serve as a welcoming marker at the head of the entry drive.
This is the third year in a row that an Island Design Assembly project has received an award, and this year’s jury from Montreal described the Compost Commons as a “special design-build project that belongs in a separate category — small in scale but beautifully crafted. A fine example of community engagement marked by good design and careful attention to the craft of building. The entire process was collaborative and participatory, and the result is beautiful.”
More information about the project and the program is available at www.islanddesignassembly.org or www.mcleodkredell.com.
The American Institute of Architects, Vermont Chapter, announced its 2015 Excellence in Architecture Design Awards Program at its annual meeting, held last month at the Middlebury Inn.
In addition to McLeod Kredell, two other Middlebury firms were honored: Bread Loaf Corp. and Vermont Integrated Architecture.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Center at Landmark College in Putney — composed of brick, glass and pre-patinaed copper — garnered an Honor Award, Large Project, for Bread Loaf. The 28,000-square foot structure was designed to both complete and complement the original mid-century modern campus designed by renowned architect Edward Durell Stone. Jurors said, “Simple massing and an elegant composition, presenting carefully ordered but slightly different faces to the public and private domains,” are strong features. “The different interpretations of the traditional arcade on the two main facades are both interesting and effective.”
Vermont Integrated Architecture of Middlebury received an Honor Award in the Small Project category for “Writer’s Studio,” a former milking parlor turned into a writer’s workspace that was profiled in a Jan. 4 article in the Independent.

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