Introducing the Winners of the 2022 AIA Maine Awards

From a family compound on Mount Desert Island to an airy seasonal landing in Bridgton, these 12 projects highlight the best architectural designs in Maine this year.

It’s that time of year when we get to release the winners of the much-anticipated annual design awards from the Maine Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Maine). These awards honor the extraordinary work by Maine-based architectural firms that goes above and beyond pure aesthetics and considers how these structures will impact our present and future. “The AIA Maine Design Awards are a true celebration of Maine design,” says Paul Lewandowski, chair of the awards committee. “Each year, we receive entries from some of the largest and smallest firms in Maine, all practicing architecture to better the environment, our clients, and our communities.”

The projects selected for the annual Design Awards are a mix of commercial, single-family residential, renovations and adaptive reuse, and small projects (with budgets under $250,000). The sole judging criterion? Design excellence. Firms can submit work located anywhere in the world, but it must have been designed after 2015 by a registered AIA Maine architect or a current Maine architecture student, and it cannot have been honored in years past. AIA Maine recently added Framework for Design Excellence as another qualification for an award. What does this mean, exactly? It requires submitters to show how their project helps transform the day-to-day practice of architects to achieve a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment. The projects are then evaluated through ten measures: design for integration, for equitable communities, for ecology, for water, for economy, for energy, for wellness, for resources, for change, and for discovery.

The Design Awards program commences with the committee’s search for a jury of out-of-state peers suited to judge designs in light of Maine’s unique geography and history. This year AIA Maine had a New England to England theme when it came to jury selection, with three jurors from England and one juror representing New England from Boston. The jury deliberated over a total of 52 submissions from 26 firms before issuing 12 awards. “Maine is a special design community—the ingenuity, creativity, and technical knowledge never cease to amaze me,” reveals Lewandowski. “Moreover, even though we often compete against each other for commissions, the collegiality and camaraderie among AIA Maine members are unique in my experience.”

MH+D is honored to present the winners of the 2022 AIA Maine Design Awards.

Institutional + Commercial

Davis Center for Human Ecology, Bar Harbor
Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture • Design
OPAL Architecture

Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture

Design Architect: Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture • Design
Architect of Record/Building Performance Design: OPAL Architecture
Design Principal: Susan T. Rodriguez, FAIA (Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture • Design)
Principal-in-Charge: Timothy Lock, AIA (OPAL Architecture)
Project Architect: Joshua Homer, AIA (Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture • Design)
Project Manager: Alex Rosenthal (OPAL Architecture)
Project Team Members: Sonia Flamberg, RA; Mikhail Grinwald, RA; Wilfredo Marrero; George Switzer, AIA; Gabe Tomasulo, AIA; Duncan White, AIA; Yang Zhao (Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture • Design and OPAL Architecture)
Energy & Life Cycle Analysis: Jolie Lau
General Contractor: E.L. Shea Builders & Engineers
Structural Engineer: Silman
Civil Engineer: Hedefine Engineering & Design
MEP Engineer: van Zelm Engineers
Landscape Architect: Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture
Lighting Designer: Brandston Partnership
Acoustical Designer: Harvey Marshall Berling Associates
Fire Protection Engineer: Fisher Engineering
Cost Estimator: Preferred Construction Management
Photographers: Michael Bailey, Trent Bell, Darron Collins, Jen Holt, Jameson R. Lowrey, Susan T. Rodriguez

From the Jury:
“Thoughtfully designed spaces honor the program, the site, and the need for creative thinking and sustainable design.”

Project At-a-Glance:
Sited between Frenchman Bay and Acadia National Park atop a rocky promontory on the rugged coastline of Mount Desert Island, the Center for Human Ecology weaves together the interdisciplinary study of human ecology with environmental sustainability. Inspired by the unique character and culture of College of the Atlantic’s oceanfront campus, the design reinforces an immersive learning experience on the Maine coast.

Project Summary:
The design of the Center for Human Ecology was inspired by College of the Atlantic’s pedagogy of deep, hands-on engagement with the natural world. At its inception in 1969, the college was the first in the United States to have a mission centered on the holistic study of humans’ relationship with the environment. The design reinforces this engagement, heightening awareness of the unique ecology of the site and surrounding context. The overall building configuration frames a new campus landscape, offering protection from harsh ocean winds while optimizing solar gains to mitigate heating demands over long, cold winters. A series of spatial cuts through the building provide views of the Atlantic Ocean—the college’s backdrop and namesake—visually connecting the interior spaces with the powerful landscape and coastline. The design incorporates a palette of locally sourced materials, including a nearly all-wood structure and exterior envelope that recalls the culture and traditions of the working waterfront. A utilitarian network of functional, flexible spaces including art studios, science laboratories, research spaces, a greenhouse, faculty offices, and multipurpose classroom spaces for lectures, exhibitions, and collaboration supports an institution free of departmental divisions. Generous public spaces allow the center to transform from an academic building during the day to a campus center after hours and a venue for public programs year-round. Working within a tight budget to provide a wide range of indoor teaching and research spaces (ultimately achieving a final cost of $357 per square foot), the design reflects the college’s unique character and culture: simple, intimate, pragmatic, and always foregrounding the natural world. The building weaves together the interdisciplinary study of human ecology with environmental sustainability, forming a dynamic new academic center that amplifies an immersive learning experience at the intersection of land and sea.

The Ecology School, Saco
Kaplan Thompson Architects
Simons Architects

Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture

Architects: Jesse Thompson (Kaplan Thompson Architects), Ryan Kanteres (Simons Architects), Christopher Briley (BRIBURN)
Civil Engineer: Ransom Consulting
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Landscape Architect: Richardson & Associates
Food Service Consultant: Advanced Food Systems
Materials Research: Integrated Eco Strategy
Specification Consultant: Kalin Associates
General Contractor: Zachau Construction
Photographer: Trent Bell

From the Jury:
“We appreciated the well-considered siting of the building and were impressed by the well-designed, simple, light-filled spaces concurrent with the extensive sustainability measures achieved with this project. The thoughtful design allows the project to completely support and further enhance the user experience as an ecology school.”

Project At-a-Glance:
Designed in a unique three-firm collaboration, the Ecology School is the first community in the world to achieve a Living Community compliant master plan. A new dining commons and trio of interconnected dormitories advance the school’s mission to build regenerative relationships between people and place.

Project Summary:
The Ecology School is a nonprofit residential environmental learning center linking human and natural systems through immersive learning experiences. Students and educators from across New England are welcomed to participate in field trips and overnight programs focused on environmental stewardship, conservation, farming, and sustainability.

After years of renting, the school purchased a 105-acre working riparian farm within a conservation easement along the Saco River. A three-firm architecture team collaborated with consultants and landscape ecologists to understand the site’s potential and successfully design the world’s first Living Community Master Plan within it.

Mindfully developed on only 8.2 acres, the Ecology School’s campus introduces a minimal built footprint to nurture its programs and exemplify its pedagogy of regenerative human–nature relationships. A new dining commons featuring an innovative all-electric commercial kitchen and a trio of interconnected dormitories containing 144 beds supplement the farm’s existing historic infrastructure. The greater property serves as an expansive outdoor classroom to anchor lessons and engage the community in connecting with the environment.

Per the requirements of a Living Community, the campus achieves both net positive energy (generating more energy than it consumes) and net positive water (water leaves the site cleaner than it entered). Two on-site photovoltaic arrays meet approximately 105 percent of the school’s energy demands without the use of combustion or fossil fuels. A closed loop system extracts potable water from a well and uses activated carbon filters and UV light to treat wastewater without the use of chemicals. Captured storm and rain water nourish the fields and gardens, which in turn grow nutritious produce for the dining commons.

All project materials are free of Red List chemicals, come from responsibly managed industries, and are sourced locally whenever possible. The buildings are PVC-free, constructed with exclusively FSC-certified lumber, and built to Passive House air-tightness standards.

Camden-Rockport Middle School, Camden
Oak Point Associates

Citation Award for Excellence in Architecture

Principal-in-Charge: Robert C. Tillotson, AIA
Project Architect: Tyler G. Barter, AIA
Project Team: Chantel Tardif, AIA; Jonathan McIntyre, RA
Interior Designer: Sarah Smith, CID
Landscape Architect: Allison Towne DiMatteo, PLA
Structural Engineer: David Martin, PE, SE
Civil Engineer: Steven Sargent, PE
Electrical Engineer: Dale Lincoln, PE
Mechanical Engineer (HVAC, Fire Suppression): Matthew Albert, PE
Lighting & Communications Designer: Matthew Lafond
Mechanical Engineer (Plumbing): Andrew Kitchen, PE
Fire Protection (FP) Engineer: Laura Clebak, PE
Foodservice Consultant: TJM Consulting
Geotechnical Engineer: R.W. Gillespie & Associates
Playground Designer: Sashie Misner, PLA
General Contractor: Ledgewood Construction
Photographer: Randy Williams

From the Jury:
“Judges liked the innovative technology and fresh look of the school, particularly the internal spaces.”

Project At-a-Glance:
The new, 83,400-square-foot Camden-Rockport Middle School serves students from both communities. A three-story classroom wing faces the Megunticook River and woods, and the program takes advantage of nearby natural learning opportunities. The cafeteria has expansive views of Mount Battie, while the façade retains a neighborhood scale.

Project Summary:
The Camden–Rockport Middle School opened in September of 2020, welcoming students in grades 5 to 8 to its new facility. The school enrolls students from two neighboring coastal Maine towns. The new building is constructed on the former school site and was carefully choreographed to allow the existing school to remain fully operational during construction.

The three-story building utilizes the site’s sloping topography to exhibit a smaller facade facing the residential street, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood scale, materials, and rooflines. The classroom wing faces the river and woods, allowing direct access to natural learning environments. The single-story elevation at the main entrance is flanked by the administrative wing and the cafeteria, which has expansive views of Mount Battie. The building grows a story below and above the main floor toward the back of the site, lessening the visual impact of the entrance side on the residential neighborhood. Outdoor play spaces maximize the potential for natural play and learning, utilizing the sloped site to its advantage.

The maritime heritage of the region is a source of pride for the district. Thematic, visual references to this heritage as well as the coastal landscape were utilized throughout the building, from the interior color palette, public art installations, and room signage graphics to the large nautical chart of Penobscot Bay on the wall of the cafeteria. Wood ceilings in the lobby, cafeteria, and library add additional warmth to these spaces.

The school includes grade-level classrooms, science labs, a gymnasium, a full kitchen and cafeteria, a 220-seat auditorium, and administrative spaces. The building was sited to maximize natural light throughout the educational spaces. The site is located adjacent to the town’s wastewater treatment plant, and sewer thermal technology was harnessed to recover waste heat from the treatment plant to provide heat at the new school.

Harpswell Student Apartments at Bowdoin College, Brunswick
Lavallee Brensinger Architects

Commendation Award for Excellence in Architecture

Architect: Chris Drobat
Project Manager: Sean Landry
Project Designer: Courtney Carrier
Interior Designer: Christina Mellor
Structural Engineer & Sustainability Consultant: Thornton Tomasetti
Civil Engineer: Sebago Technics
Landscape Architect: Stimson
Acoustics Engineer: Cavanaugh Tocci Associates
MEP & FP Engineer: Rist-Frost-Shumway Engineering
General Contractor: Wright-Ryan Construction
Photographer: Siri Blanchette (Blind Dog Photo Associates)

From the Jury:
“The jury was particularly intrigued with the student apartments’ social environment. Each wing provides its own public amenity space, while the central common space allows further social interaction between the collection of ‘wings’ via a central open space. The minimalist use of materials and simplicity of the volumes also caught the eyes of the jury.”

Project At-a-Glance:
This “village in the woods” is composed of three 15,800-square-foot buildings that house a total of 44 students and is designed to Passive House standards. The uses of wood, natural textures, and color evoke feelings of warmth and invitation.

Project Summary:
Ranked number six on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of national liberal arts colleges, this private institution with a suburban campus was challenged to provide desirable housing for juniors and seniors. This project was the second phase of a comprehensive study with overarching goals of energy efficiency, abundant community space, and apartment living. The three buildings are designed to Passive House standards, with “super” insulation, triple-pane windows, and efficient air-exchange systems for heating and cooling.

These buildings include seven apartment-style suites, each with their own kitchen and living room accommodations. The fully accessible apartments include modern finishes and furnishings and are a mix of four-, six-, and eight-person apartments, all with single bedrooms. The site and buildings are choreographed to expand the boundaries of what students may see as their apartment. Both the buildings and their landscape are scaled depending on a student’s desired level of social engagement. The building massing is suggestive of a “house within a house,” an early concept that stuck and was carried through so that the landscape, building massing, and plan all work together to blur how the building is perceived. Inspired by the Maine vernacular, the exteriors of the buildings are composed of materials and shapes that feel comfortable and familiar. The use of wood, texture, and color on the inside evoke similar feelings of warmth and invitation. Each building has its own quiet patio suitable for small-group conversations and connected to a larger outdoor space for barbecues and games. Similarly, the entrance to each apartment spurs from the building’s “living room.” The building entrance is socially engineered to engage students with their surroundings and fellow students by connecting them directly to the landscaped courtyard and the community room, creating opportunities for students to “see and be seen.”

Portland Design-Build Firm Offices, Portland
Knickerbocker Group

Commendation Award for Excellence in Architecture

Architecture Practice Leader: Rick Nelson (Knickerbocker Group)
Project Architect: Michael Belleau (Knickerbocker Group)
Interiors Practice Leader: Bob Francisco (Knickerbocker Group)
Interior Designer: Angela Ballard (Knickerbocker Group)
Designer: Nick Gray (Knickerbocker Group)
General Contractors: Tom Burrill, Sam Kapala (Knickerbocker Group)
Landscape Design & Installation: Amelie Brouard (At the Garden Gate)
Engineer: Rist-Frost-Shumway Engineering
Workstation Designer: Exterus Business Furniture
Photographer: Trent Bell

From the Jury:
“We appreciated the use of local craftspeople and materials, as well as the building reuse.”

Project At-a-Glance:
A former Public Works industrial warehouse is transformed into a light-filled downtown office for a 100 percent employee-owned design-build firm. The flexible, welcoming workspace takes a “resimercial” approach that fosters focus, creativity, and cross-disciplinary collaboration—more important than ever as employees return to the office.

Project Summary:
For their Portland office, Knickerbocker Group wanted to achieve a balance between the comfort and cozy atmosphere of their residential projects and the requirements of a commercial workspace, so they took a “resimercial” design approach. The firm created a home away from home that feels comfortable, fosters innovation and focus, and serves as inspiration for staff and clients alike. This project is the perfect example of the new office environment that employees are looking for after working from home because of the pandemic.

Team members can curl up in a soft armchair while taking a call or draft emails from an outdoor deck, just like they might from home. Collaboration is encouraged through small lounge areas, and creativity is sparked by product samples organized on open shelving.

Remote employees feel part of meetings thanks to conference rooms with large screens, while hybrid team members can pop in for the day at a touch-down area. The adaptable floor plan includes furniture designed to float around as needed for events, and height-adjustable workstations. For a personalized, homelike feel and to celebrate Maine’s local crafts, Knickerbocker Group collaborated with more than a dozen local artisans ranging from metalworkers to ceramicists.

The office’s location in a former public works warehouse was a commitment to adaptive reuse and the area’s revitalization. It’s a space designed for how people are returning to the office and how people will work in the future. The firm believes that their “resimercial” design is the first of its kind in the state. Testaments to the design’s success include the firm’s designation as one of the “Best Places to Work in Maine” in 2021 and its increased staff, which grew by 29 percent over the past two years.

Single-Family Residential

All-Wood, All the Time, Connecticut
OPAL Architecture

Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture

Architect: Matthew O’Malia, AIA
Project Team: Gunther Kragler, Michele Bezik, George Switzer
Landscape Architect: Kent Greenhouse
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Mechanical Engineer: J.H. McPartland & Sons
Lighting Designer: Viabizzuno
Cabinetry & Storage Systems: Canova
General Contractor: Chris Pierzga (Country Homes Construction)
Photographer: Trent Bell

From the Jury:
“All-Wood, All the Time marries sustainability and design into a modern, clean form with a thoughtful and controlled use of materials.”

Project At-a-Glance:
With a cross-laminated timber structural system and wood-fiber-based products for all its above-grade insulation, this lakefront residence demonstrates a radical reduction of the typical carbon footprint of a new construction. The single-level design concentrates the living spaces with efficient private spaces tucked behind, and a stepped facade affords every room a lake view.

Project Summary:
Wood is the most sustainable building material we have. Because it produces itself using only solar energy and sequesters carbon throughout its lifespan, wood contributes relatively little to a building’s carbon debt (the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere in its production). This lakefront residence represents a significant step forward in that regard. With a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structural system and wood-fiber- based products for all its above-grade insulation, it is as close as OPAL has come to an all-wood building.

Designed to replace a seasonal cottage on a south-facing lot wedged between the road and the lakeshore, the building was subject to strict limits on its footprint and overall height. The architects responded to those constraints with a single-level design that concentrates its volume in a combined kitchen, dining, and living space. Two super-efficient private spaces—an owner’s bedroom suite and a study/guest room with a second bath—spread out to the west and east, respectively. A stepped facade gives every major space a view of the lake.

The house’s complex geometry presented a challenging test case for CLT construction, but careful detailing allowed OPAL to specify prefabricated, solid lumber panels for the building’s structural walls, ceilings, and roof. Left exposed on the interior, the panels also constitute the finish surfaces at the walls and ceilings. This solid CLT building shell is encased with rigid wood-fiber insulation boards—yielding a Passive House level of energy efficiency—and is sheathed in pre-finished ash siding and exterior trim. Because the shell has no conventional stud or rafter cavities, utility runs were affixed to the exterior of the CLT panels, with the insulation boards carved and fitted around them. To minimize dependency on the power grid, the project incorporates Tesla’s solar roof and Powerwall technology to generate and store electricity.

Mount Desert Island Family Compound, Mount Desert Island
Matthew Baird Architects

Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture

Architect: Matthew Baird
Project Architect: Pius Aebi
Architectural Team: Matthew Baird, Principal; Teresa Ball, Principal; Parker Brown; Alice Chai; Jingyuan Gao; Hunter Hughes; Lenore Passavanti; Florence Schmitt-Thai
Interior Designer: Brockschmidt & Coleman
Landscape Designer: Emma Kelly Landscape
Structural Engineer: Albert Putnam Associates
Civil Engineer: G.F. Johnston & Associates
MEP Engineer: Altieri Sebor Wieber
General Contractor: Chris Parsons
Photographer: Elizabeth Felicella

From the Jury:
“The jury was principally attracted to the reuse of an existing building and the integration of new structures into the landscape. Simple geometric volumes are nestled into the topography very carefully and unimposingly. The delicately crafted internal spaces and internal connections also take full advantage of the views without attempting to make an imposing statement.”

Project At-a-Glance:
Overlooking the ocean on Mount Desert Island, this family compound comprises two houses: a new ground-up structure, and an existing midcentury modern pavilion, which was preserved and added to. The project combines a minimalist vernacular expression with environmentally sensitive systems and construction.

Project Summary:
As commissioned by a family who has visited this coast for many years, the goal of the project was to create a year-round compound for family gatherings and visits by generations to come.

Matthew Baird Architects preserved an original 1965 structure, House 9, that was designed by Homer Rogers Architects, adding a new three-bedroom, three-bath sleeping pavilion. The addition sits uphill from the restored kitchen, dining, and living volume and has a similar palette to the original: Douglas fir walls, ceilings, and floors, all finished in a simple expression. The old and new pavilions are connected by a striking glass bridge.

Further uphill, the team designed a ground-up guesthouse, House 7, overlooking the original structure and the ocean beyond. The design of the second house relates to the scale, circulation, and formal expression of the original house, maximizing views and natural light with expansive floor-to-ceiling glass. Both structures share a similar material palette and strong geometries—single-pitched volumes sloping up from the landscape. Passive cooling and siting techniques are employed to draw cool air up from the harbor just below the site.

The project is inspired by the modernist tradition of blurring the boundaries between the interior and exterior and seeks to maximize the visual enjoyment of the marine landscape and striking rocky coast.

The Crow’s Nest, Bar Harbor
Kaplan Thompson Architects

Citation Award for Excellence in Architecture

Principal Architect: Phil Kaplan
Design Assistants: Robin Tannenbaum, Ben Bailey, Rachel McBrien
Interior Designer: Lisa Bossi
Landscape Architect: Mike Mansolilli
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Solar Consultant: ReVision Energy
General Contractor: John Roscoe
Photographer: Irvin Serrano

From the Jury:
“We were glad to see the client’s commitment to net zero while creating a carefully sited multigenerational home. The thoughtful use of locally sourced materials was also appreciated.”

Project At-a-Glance:
The Crow’s Nest perches atop the highest ridge of a 35-acre property on Mount Desert Island. Goals to maximize connection to the landscape and minimize energy consumption inspired an energetic, avian form that opens its wings to panoramic views of Cadillac Mountain.

Project Summary:
For years, the owners of the Crow’s Nest and their extended family visited the cliffs and coast of Bar Harbor. When their children left the nest, they sought a more permanent presence in the town that had harbored so many adventures. A three-acre, wooded parcel granted the ideal setting for a transitional, multigenerational home that could serve as a seasonal retreat and eventual primary residence.

As occupants of a net-zero-energy house in New Jersey, the owners wanted the new structure to meet similar levels of energy efficiency. Their goal was for the home’s performance, as well as the experience it would create for users, to complement the aesthetic direction of the project.

The Crow’s Nest’s implied avian form was not an intentional ode to the native species of Mount Desert Island but a fortunate result of a site-based approach to design. Emphasis was placed on capturing the site’s panoramic views of Cadillac Mountain, embracing the sun for daylighting and passive heating, and immersing occupants in the surrounding landscape.

The structure’s wingspan along an east–west axis maximizes the surface area oriented toward the breathtaking southerly views. The home’s most trafficked living spaces flow along this façade, providing direct and indirect connections to nature via expansive triple-glazed windows and multiple points of outdoor access. Atypically broad overhangs and a slatted trellis provide necessary shading in the summer months. A series of circumambient porches, decks, and patios offer a gradual transition from the crisp, fir-clad interiors to the property’s more rugged wilderness.

Set back from the main form, an independent in-law suite perches above an attached two-car garage and enjoys the same unobstructed views as the rest of the home. Approached from below, the profile presents as a beacon, guiding visitors to the top of the property’s deliberately winding drive.

Renovation + Adaptive Reuse

Timeless Barn, Falmouth

Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture

Architect: Chris Briley
Associate Designer: Courtney Frost
Designer: Stephen Peck
Structural Engineer: Joe Leasure (L&L Structural Engineering Services)
General Contractors: Reggie Lebel, John Deans (Emerald Builders)
Photographer: François Gagné

From the Jury:
“This is an imaginative adaptive-reuse project with thoughtful detailing. The judges appreciated the commitment to sustainability and the level of airtightness achieved, as well as the enhancement of the unique existing features.”

Project At-a-Glance:
Fueled by an owner’s passion, a deep energy retrofit of an old barn in Falmouth honors its past while creating a contemporary home. At first glance, it has all the character and charm of its original self. A closer look reveals bright, delightful spaces, creative engineering, and high-performance building techniques.

Project Summary:
Most people would have torn down this old outbuilding to make way for a new structure, but the client had a strong vision. He was enchanted by its many quaint historical features such as the catwalk among the trusses and the floor made from World War II liberty ship hatches. He wanted to honor the past by keeping such features, honor the present by making a comfortable, modern living space for him and his husband, and honor the future by turning the drafty old barn into a highly energy-efficient, sustainable building. This passion was something both the architect and builder supported and shared.

As with most old structures like this existing barn, it was not engineered. Without adding any load or doing any modifications, most of the structural members did not meet modern code compliance, let alone support a legitimate catwalk. The solution was to remove the existing trusses and install two new steel beams that support both the catwalk and roof load above while preserving the old board sheathing as the interior finish. The result is a much more open, sturdy, modern, and inviting experience.

At the east end of the catwalk is the primary bedroom, where a south-facing dormer was introduced for additional light and headroom. At the west end, a larger, modern window now fills the gable end to create a dramatic and inviting catwalk experience while also allowing afternoon light to pour into the living room below.

The barn doors are a combination of sliding doors and glass patio doors, filling the interior with ever-changing light. This gave the designer/owner exactly the vibrant element he needed to render the deep colors and varied textures within the space. It comes alive with the light, marrying the deep tones of old wood with modern surfaces.

Small Projects

Screened Landing, Bridgton
Winkelman Architecture

Citation Award for Excellence in Architecture

From the Jury:
“Screened Landing is a well-articulated, thoughtful, and nicely proportioned design. The juxtaposition of light and dark was notable.”

Project At-a-Glance:
This seasonal landing sits on a point where the soothing sounds from a flowing brook meet echoes of activity on the lake. It is a space centered in tranquil connection to nature and active engagement with recreation, a daylight-filled space for gathering people and gathering things.

Project Summary:
The design and structure of Screened Landing is an adaptation to an original boathouse. In seasons when the lake is still and quiet, a single canoe and a collection of kayaks, fishing poles, and paddles fill the space. In warmer months, the landing is both a retreat into nature and an epicenter for recreation.

The design process began with introducing daylight and natural airflow. The team developed a new roof canopy to create a spacious, light-filled interior; they carefully designed for new openness with a balance of restoring the foundation and preserving sections of the original wall framing.

Creating openness through the north and east walls, they peeled away the existing boards and framing. Light now pours into the space. In the upper north gable, a plexiglass and wood sash brings light in to wash the timbered ceiling while protecting the space from northerly-wind-driven rains. Screens infill between columns, giving it the character and lightness of a screened porch. The screened space is layered with a series of wood and plexiglass sashes that can playfully lift or slide in response to the weather. The plexiglass panels cut cool winds in the early spring and late fall and protect equipment and gear stored in the space during the winter months. Lower plexiglass panels welcome light to stream across the floor.

On the south and west sides, the original walls have been preserved and built upward to meet the new roof profile—in the section drawing, a dashed profile shows the lower roofline originally enclosing the landing. Within these solid edges, a single, thoughtfully placed window aperture on the south wall visually connects a series of playful spaces in the context of the site: an outdoor fireplace at the house, the interior of the landing, and the water beyond.

Professional Unbuilt

Four Corners House, Machiasport
AAmp Studio

Citation Award for Excellence in Architecture

Architect: AAmp Studio
Team: Andrew Ashey, AIA; Anne-Marie Armstrong, Ethan O’Kane

From the Jury:
“A building that uses vernacular style and materials, Four Corners House is well oriented and simply detailed. What appears to be an inside-out and outside-in concept surrounding a central courtyard makes for a unique object in the landscape.”

Project At-a-Glance:
Four Corners House is a three-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot vacation home that is sited along Maine’s thickly wooded and rugged Bold Coast region. The design is derived from a prototypical nine-square grid with an open-air courtyard at the center flanked by two primary living zones.

Project Summary:
Of the two primary living zones, one hosts public spaces, such as a kitchen, living room, and dining room, while the other hosts private spaces such as the bedrooms, bathrooms, and a study. These two zones are connected by a library and a storage wing on one side and a porch-like colonnade on the other, all of which share access to the communal courtyard and firepit.

For this vacation home, the goal was for the outdoor surroundings to become an extension of the home, maximizing indoor-outdoor connections where possible. As such, along the outer perimeter of the house each of the two living zones—private and public—is paired with an outdoor space of equal size facing the surrounding woods, effectively doubling the home’s footprint in the warmer months. At the public side is a pool and outdoor living and dining deck, and at the private side each bedroom has its own deck for rest and contemplation.

The height of the home doubles at its eponymous four corners. Each corner provides a different program or function: in the living space, the corner becomes a connection point to the roof deck through a stair; in the owner’s bedroom, a dramatic double-height volume brings in more light and air; at the opposite bedroom corner, there is a sleeping loft for the kids; and at the main entry is a two-story space with a sauna above.

The materials of the home take cues from the vernacular, shingle-style houses found along Maine’s coast, but its size is altered to accentuate the two levels, grounding the primary living spaces with the surrounding landscape while accentuating the unique nature of the tall corners as they engage with the trees.

Student Unbuilt

Unfolding: Museum of American Craft & Design, Asheville, North Carolina
University of Maine at Augusta

Citation Award for Excellence in Architecture

From the Jury:
“The judges appreciated the students’ robust process of design exploration of the spaces at different scales and materials, including physical and digital models. The drawings were well done and clear, reflecting the design intent.”

Project At-a-Glance:
Exploring the connections among craft, materiality, and building tectonics, the inspiration for the Museum of American Craft and Design was drawn from the humanizing and handwrought nature of craft.

Project Summary:
A museum of craft is different from a museum of art. Paintings and sculptures are made to be observed and considered, while crafts are everyday items. Handmade and useful, crafts are made slowly, with intention, and considering materiality and purpose, which creates a connection between the crafter and the person who will use the item.

Today, many of the items we use on a regular basis are mass-produced. We do not think about where an item came from or who may have made it, or even how well it performs its function.

The design intention for the Museum of American Craft and Design is about unfolding, slowing people down, and encouraging them to look at these seemingly everyday items more thoughtfully.

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, on a triangular urban site situated in a populated downtown, the building is conceived as a filtering device that pulls visitors into a central plaza through a series of ramps and colonnades. Interior spaces are defined by a series of planes and voids that set edges and create longer views to draw people slowly through the galleries. Pop-ups along the north side pull in southern light and diffuse it into the galleries, while large, glazed openings bring in direct light, creating a language of active and passive light that dictates circulation. Sectional connections between the galleries unfold the spaces vertically and create opportunities to view the crafts from multiple perspectives.

The students worked largely in model, shifting between scales to work out the initial concept, to develop a design language, and to test methods to achieve the goals of the design. They collaborated on nearly every design decision, which made for a slow, intentional, sometimes painful but often rewarding experience, much like the design intention for the project itself.

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