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Monday, November 16, 2020

Norwich University Offers Design-Build Competition to High Schoolers

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2020 at 2:24 PM

Outdoor classroom at Union Elementary School, Montpelier - COURTESY OF MARK COLLIER
  • Courtesy of Mark Collier
  • Outdoor classroom at Union Elementary School, Montpelier
In 2018, the undergraduate architecture students in Tolya Stonorov’s design-build class at Norwich University designed and built an outdoor classroom at Union Elementary School in Montpelier. Then the pandemic hit. Let’s just say the project was prescient.

Now Norwich has launched an outdoor-classroom design competition for high school students — a cohort likely to know first-hand the urgency of the need. The competition invites high school students anywhere in the world, singly or in teams of up to four, to choose a site on the grounds of a school in their town and design an open-air classroom for it.

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Middlebury's McLeod Kredell Architects Named to Design Vanguard

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2020 at 10:22 AM

The Mad River House in Warren by McLeod Kredell - ERICA ALLEN STUDIO
  • Erica Allen Studio
  • The Mad River House in Warren by McLeod Kredell
McLeod Kredell Architects in Middlebury has garnered a slew of awards, which the firm modestly buries within its website. These include American Institute of Architects-Vermont awards for excellence in design in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and AIA-New England awards in 2013 and 2017.

On May 4 this year, it won recognition of a more international sort: McLeod Kredell  became the first Vermont firm to be named to Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard. The industry’s leading magazine in the U.S., which has a broad global readership, started the Design Vanguard award in 2000. Each year, its editors identify 10 emerging firms to watch around the world.

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Charlotte Potter Named Yestermorrow Executive Director

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 4:04 PM

  • Courtesy of Charlotte Potter
  • Charlotte Potter
On January 2, 2019, Charlotte Potter will take over as executive director at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield. It's a homecoming for the Mad River Valley native, who for the past six years worked as the glass studio manager and program director at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va. She succeeds former Yestermorrow ED Claire Gear, who is now the executive director of the Shelburne Craft School.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Buyer to Rescue, Restore Modernist House II in Hardwick

Posted By on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 11:21 AM

  • Courtesy of Geoffrey Gross, NYC
  • House II in Hardwick
Not many house hunters are in search of an experimental, white, modernist home built in 1969-70 that one listing described as a “live-in artwork.” But, after four years on the market, as Seven Days reported earlier this year, architect Peter Eisenman’s House II in Hardwick finally found its ideal caretakers.

The New England-based couple who purchased the iconic house would prefer to remain anonymous. Andrew Ferentinos, the architect they hired to make the house both truer to Eisenman’s original drawings and more livable, describes them this way: “They are the rare people who are deeply and passionately interested in architecture, and in being stewards of modern architecture.”

That’s fortuitous, for only pure love was going to save this building.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Vermont Architecture Group Announces This Year's Awards and Accolades

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 3:54 PM

  • Courtesy of Brian Mac, Birdseye Design
  • Two Shed by Birdseye Design
The Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects held its year-end meeting, award ceremony and all-around party on Saturday night at ArtsRiot in Burlington. Board president Gary Corey opened with the news that “this will be a good year and a bad year” for architecture in Vermont. Good because membership is up — Vermont’s chapter is now the third largest in New England — and “bad because of the election.” Architecture, Corey said, will likely suffer under the new administration.

“Impeach Trump!” an architect in the audience yelled out in response.

While it’s good to prepare for the future, the awards given this year put the recent past in excellent stead. Some interesting work has lately gone up in the Green Mountains. (And one to-die-for ski chalet in Québec).

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Burlington Celebrates 20th PechaKucha Night

Posted By on Sun, May 15, 2016 at 11:47 AM

PechaKucha Night graphic - COURTESY OF FLEMING MUSEUM
  • Courtesy of Fleming Museum
  • PechaKucha Night graphic
For Burlington's 20th PechaKucha Night, Tokyo-based founders of the international presentation phenomenon Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein introduced the event themselves via YouTube video. They reminded attendees that "pechakucha" is the Japanese onomatopoetic word for "chit-chat."  

So far, PKNs have taken place in 921 cities around the world, with more than 7,000 presentations available online to date. In what may be the only time the Queen City has been compared to a Japanese megalopolis, the formulators of PKN's 20 slides/20 seconds each model hypothesized about the event's popularity: "Probably in Burlington, as it is in Tokyo, there are few places to show and share work from designers and architects." 

The University of Vermont's Fleming Museum of Art, which established PKN in Burlington, hosted the 20th iteration. It featured presentations from nine Vermonters that ranged in topic from migratory bird-banding to architect-built ice shanties to marketing against sexual assault. 

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

An Arts Acquisition: Brattleboro's Arch Street Building

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 2:26 PM

View of the Arch Street Building along Whetstone Brook - COURTESY OF BRATTLEBORO MUSEUM & ART CENTER
  • Courtesy of Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
  • View of the Arch Street Building along Whetstone Brook
According to the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, the disused industrial building at 11 Arch Street in downtown Brattleboro has been granted "a new lease on life" — BMAC purchased the property from Green Mountain Power on December 11.

The approximately 4,500-square-foot brick building is more than 130 years old. "For most of its life it was used by various power companies," BMAC director Danny Lichtenfeld told Seven Days. Formerly, it was the generating station, substation and service center for Central Vermont Public Service Corporation, Twin State Gas & Electric and Brattleboro Gaslight Company. "Plans for the new facility have yet to be finalized," he added, "but may include artist housing or studios, gallery or event space, classrooms and a terrace overlooking the brook." 

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jeffersonville Silo Project Chooses Muralist

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 4:39 PM

One of Sarah C. Rutherford's designs for the Jeffersonville silos - COURTESY OF SARAH C. RUTHERFORD
  • Courtesy of Sarah C. Rutherford
  • One of Sarah C. Rutherford's designs for the Jeffersonville silos
After a lengthier-than-expected deliberation process, the Cambridge Arts Council has selected the artist whose work will soon adorn a pair of disused silos in the village of Jeffersonville. The fantastical, semirealistic art of Sarah C. Rutherford will vivify the concrete silos, which are all that remain of the defunct Bell-Gates Lumber Corporation. The project is funded by a $15,000 grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Rutherford was chosen from four finalists, a number that had been winnowed from the dozen proposals submitted to the CAC last spring. The three other finalists were Mary Hill, Anthill Collective and Mary Lacy, the last of whom is currently painting a mural on another pair of silos at the Burlington headquarters of

CAC member Justin Marsh, one of the so-called "Silo Sisters" who've been working on this project, says, "The concepts that [Rutherford] had given us tied into the heritage of Vermont and the history of the sawmill being there. These were things we thought people would connect with."

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Local 64 Celebrates Move and Expansion With Design Contest

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Local 64's current space at 5 State Street in Montpelier - COURTESY OF LOCAL 64
  • Courtesy of Local 64
  • Local 64's current space at 5 State Street in Montpelier
In celebration of its imminent move from one end of Montpelier’s State Street to another, the shared workspace Local 64 is hosting a competition to design elements of its new digs. The contest, said Local 64’s founder and “chief agitator” Lars Hasselblad-Torres, is designed to tap into exactly the kind of robust creativity that the organization aims to promote.

“There’s a diversity of ideas that comes from [holding a design contest] that might not come from a top-down approach,” he said in a phone interview with Seven Days. “In order to authentically say that we’re building a micro-designed showcase, we are obliged to have some diversity there, not just to be a windowfront for one or two companies.”

Calling Local 64 a “coworking hub and creativity sandbox,” Hasselblad-Torres emphasized that its policies of desk- and office-sharing foster collaboration and the exchange of ideas. The organization works on a membership basis, and offers short-term leases to allow for maximum flexibility. Its members, he said, not only share their expertise with each other but with the community, by hosting workshops and art shows.

“It’s a platform for members to share their output and create more visibility and, hopefully, stimulate the marketplace of ideas, innovation and creativity in central Vermont,” Hasselblad-Torres said.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Democracy in Architecture: Vote for the People's Choice Award

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 2:53 PM

The 2013 People's Choice Award winner, a house in Sugarhill, N.H., by Smith and Vansant Architects of Norwich - COURTESY OF AIAVT
  • Courtesy of AIAVT
  • The 2013 People's Choice Award winner, a house in Sugarhill, N.H., by Smith and Vansant Architects of Norwich
Quite a few newly designed buildings have gone up around Vermont in the last year, and the Vermont chapter of AIA is asking you to tell them which one you like best. Since it would be tough to visit them all, the organization has posted photos of 38 contenders on its website. It’s time for the annual People’s Choice Award.

Among the choices are cool, modern guesthouses and residences, a “parklet” structure, chicken housing, a community action center, a country club and the AIAVT’s own Archistream – its converted Airstream trailer outfitted for mobile education about architecture. Each choice was submitted by a Vermont architect, though some of their projects are located outside the state.

Voting is open through November 10. The winner will be announced at the organization’s annual meeting and design-awards program in the Statehouse in Montpelier on December 4.

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