Five Vermont designs win architectural awards in annual contest

Get ready to be jealous.

The Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture announced five winners of its 2022 Excellence in Architecture Design awards. The winning designs, which include three single-family homes, a college building with classrooms and offices, and the state agricultural and environmental laboratory, span the state from Bennington to Burke.

Awards were given at three levels: Honor (first); Merit (second); and Citation (third). The winners were picked by members of AIA Central Washington, using the AIA Framework for Design Excellence as their guide.

And the winners are:

Terrapin House, Woodstock

Birdseye, a design/build firm in Richmond, won an honor award in the single family residential category for Terrapin in Woodstock.

Terrapin was built for a large extended family. The house straddles the edge of forest and mountain meadow, sitting on a ledge that both gives it great views across the meadow and lets it blend into the forest behind it.

Rather than a poured foundation, the house sits on concrete piers that makes it seem to float over the landscape. The outside of the house is clad in black-stained knotty cedar. The inside has lots of glass, bringing the outside in.

The Barn at Bennington College

Centerline Architects and Planners in Bennington won a merit award in the historic preservation/adaptive reuse/rehabilitation category for The Barn at Bennington College in Bennington.

The Barn at Bennington College won a Merit Award from the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2022.

Bennington College dates back to 1932, when a tract of farmland was donated for the home of a new liberal arts college. The Barn at Bennington College is one of the oldest buildings on campus, today housing classrooms, faculty and administrative offices and exhibition spaces for student artwork.

A huge chunk of The Barn — about 10,000 square feet — was destroyed in a fire in 2019, and had to be rebuilt. Making the best of a disaster, the college hired Centerline to make the space better than it ever was, replacing a maze of tiny offices and narrow hallways with an open design that emphasized the views and created a doorway to the campus.

Black & Light House, Stowe

Harry Hunt Architects in Stowe won a merit award in the single family residential category for the Black & Light House in Stowe.

The Black and Light House in Stowe fits comfortably into its surroundings.

The Black & Light House is a net-zero design — meaning the house generates all the energy it needs — on a partially wooded site along Covered Bridge Road, between Gold Brook and Stowe Hollow. The full-time residents wanted a comfortable house that worked in harmony with its surroundings, using natural materials, such as wood and stone. Most of all, they wanted low maintenance and low energy costs.