AIAVT Honors Award Winning Projects at Annual Meeting & Design Awards Event
By Sarah O Donnell
AIAVT members gathered on the evening of December 4th, 2019 for our Annual Meeting & Design Awards event, at the UVM Alumni House in Burlington, VT. The event kicked off with food and drinks in the historic mansion. Now the home of the UVM Alumni Foundation, the mansion was restored after many years spent serving as a fraternity house. In addition to restoring the house, a pavilion was added, which made the perfect setting for the presentation portion of our evening. The restoration and addition project was a Breadloaf project, led by our late President, John Dale, AIA. With John’s unexpected passing just after New Years, it now feels all the more appropriate that we were able to celebrate another year of AIAVT activities and accomplishments in a building that John lovingly designed, even if his modesty prevented him from mentioning it from the podium.
Our outgoing President, Joel Page, AIA, ran the business meeting portion of the evening, which included a member vote to approve bylaws changes, as well as the incoming slate of board members and officers- including three new board members for 2020. Joel also gave a year in review presentation highlighting the work of AIAVT’s board and committees. An active year, 2019 included many notable achievements and new initiatives. We continued our focus on Community Connections, which included community-based design charrettes at the ACX and EPN events as well as a current and active public awareness initiative. This initiative, led by the recently formed Public Outreach Committee, will utilize the AIA Blueprint for Better Film Challenge films as one way to provide a wide variety of examples of architects working within their communities to collaborate on projects, and “to serve as thought and action leaders in improving our cities, towns, and neighborhoods.” The over 50 films can be found here.
Joel touched on the work of our Public Policy Committee (PPC). This group’s achievements in 2019 included:
- 20+ meetings in Montpelier with legislators and working committees on energy and contractor registration
- AIAVT members active on legislative policy for K-12 School Construction Aid, Contractor Registration, and Energy Code updates
- AIAVT members also providing input on energy policy and RBES/CBES updates
- Ongoing collaboration meetings with the Dept of Public Safety/ Division of Fire Safety
- Established new collaboration and recurring meetings with BGS and ACEC
In 2020 the PPC will continue to push on the above issues and is reviewing the feasibility of pursuing the implementation of another statute of repose initiative to be put in front of the legislature in 2021.
Joel also highlighted the Board of Directors’ work towards establishing a strategic plan, with the three pillars of Member Engagement, Public Outreach, and AIAVT’s role in the future with a focus on Climate Change and Energy Policy. The Board will continue to work towards codifying a strategic plan in 2020.
The Design Awards Presentation portion of the evening was led by Guest Juror, Patrick Costin, AIA. Costin joined us from Portland, ME, where our guest jury met back in October to review the 30 entries to this year’s AIAVT Design Awards competition.
This year, the jury awarded six prizes to AIAVT members. In the residential category, Birdseye received an Honor Award for their project, Bank Barn, as well as a Merit Award for their project, Vista House. In the Institutional category, the jury awarded gbA Architects a Merit Award for their project, Performing and Visual Arts Center at the Anglo American School of Sofia. In the Commercial category, Wiemann Lamphere Architects received a Citation Award for their project, Barr Hill Distillery. A Citation Award was given in the Adaptive Re-Use category for Rabble Rouser Chocolate and Craft Co., by Tolya Stonorov, Stonorov Workshop. Stonorov also received a Citation Award in the Education category for her project NEST, a student project that Stonorov led as part of her curriculum at Norwich University. Each of the winning projects can be seen here.
In addition to the Jury’s selections, two Peers’ Choice winners were announced. These projects were voted on by event attendees, with the First Place award going to the Performing and Visual Arts Center at the Anglo American School of Sofia by gbA Architects, and second place going to the Barr Hill Distillery by Wiemann Lamphere Architects.
The evening was a fun and festive occasion. We are deeply grateful to our members for their support and engagement throughout this and every year. We are also thankful for the support of the event’s sponsors, including our Underwriter, Windows & Doors by Brownell, and our Bronze sponsors: Charron, Efficiency Vermont, Engineering Ventures, and Poole Professional. Special thanks goes to Carolyn Bates for photographing the event.