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Architecture

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Buyer to Rescue, Restore Modernist House II in Hardwick

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

House II in Hardwick - COURTESY OF GEOFFREY GROSS, NYC
  • 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

Two Shed by Birdseye Design - COURTESY OF BRIAN MAC, BIRDSEYE DESIGN
  • 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 Dealer.com.

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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Monday, September 29, 2014

Material Ecologist Neri Oxman to Give UVM Aiken Lecture

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Pneuma 1, by Neri Oxman | 3D printed models produced by Stratasys - YORAM RESHEF
  • Yoram Reshef
  • Pneuma 1, by Neri Oxman | 3D printed models produced by Stratasys
Neri Oxman’s creations look like they’ve emerged from a 1950s science-fiction film. Multicolored, alien crenellations bend into weird but oddly recognizable shapes; weird textures evoke deep-sea creatures or weird insects. They’re extremely difficult to figure out.

But that inscrutable nature is by design. Just as Oxman’s projects look both bizarre and familiar, she resists easy categorization herself. Part artist, part scientist and part designer, Oxman works in a field that’s she’s dubbed “material ecology,” the goal of which is to study how new techniques of design and fabrication can transform the creation of everyday objects and structures. As she put it on her blog, her overall project is to investigate the ways that design intersects with “architecture, enginerring, computation, and ecology.”

Many of Oxman’s most striking designs draw their inspiration from natural materials: internal organs, insect carapaces, seashells. Oxman, a professor at MIT, is at the cutting edge of the 3-D printing revolution, and has used the technology to design and build everything from bike helmets to high-fashion dresses to carpal-tunnel wristguards.

Neri Oxman will visit the University of Vermont this Thursday to deliver the George D. Aiken Lecture, “Material Ecology: A New Approach to Nature-Inspired Design and Engineering.” By email, she answered some questions for Seven Days in advance of her talk.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Inn at Grace Farm Opens in Fairfax

Posted By on Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 12:46 PM

The hills are alive! - COURTESY OF THE INN AT GRACE FARM
  • Courtesy of the Inn at Grace Farm
  • The hills are alive!

Situated on a hillside overlooking the Champlain Valley, the recently opened Inn at Grace Farm in Fairfax offers the kind of views that scream — politely and with a gentle New England accent — “Vermont!” The several nearby waterfalls don’t hurt the place’s appeal, either.

In addition to its five rooms and suites, the newly built facility boasts a “wedding barn,” which just hosted its first nuptial ceremony in April. But the barn, a roundish structure with exposed beams arrayed on the ceiling, has been constructed with more than just one purpose in mind.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Vermont Architecture in the News: Green Building, Top Interiors

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM

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Recording studios aim for the best possible sound, but who said they can't also be pretty — and green?

Not Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects. The New York-based group was just awarded the 2013 Award of Merit from the Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its design of Guilford Sound. The sustainably built, energy-efficient facility is owned by Dave Snyder.

The place was chosen, according to a press release, for its relationship to both the land and to other buildings on the property, including a renovated 19th-century farmhouse and a building that houses a wood-fired boiler.

Also this week, Burlington's TruexCullins Interiors was given the 2014 Interior Design Award for New England by the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality. It's a good trick to get an award from the future. But then, 2014 isn't all that far away.

Founded in LA nearly three decades ago, the nonprofit NEWH is dedicated to "fostering and celebrating women leaders in hospitality design," according to a press release. Closer to home, principal Kim Deetjen and her team can lay claim to the renovation of Topnotch Resort & Spa in Stowe and the interior of Hotel Vermont in Burlington. The latter, by the way, was included in the top 10 new hotels of 2013 by TripAdvisor. 

You can watch Deetjen talk about her design inspirations here

 

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