Third Annual Design Charrette Competition of AIA Vermont’s Emerging Professionals Network

By Catherine Lange, Assoc. AIA, EPN Director


Participants in this year’s EPN Charrette Competition had a large-scale problem to solve: create a sense of place and provide connection between Burlington’s waterfront and the Church Street Marketplace.


While some competed solo, the majority of designers were paired to solve the problem. This year, jurors were asked to judge the projects anonymously on posters and models alone, without an accompanying verbal presentation. The new format posed an interesting twist, requiring participants to find new ways of allowing the jury to “get it” without standing there to defend design decisions.


The winning design by TruexCullins’ Cam Featherstonhaugh and Josh Chafe showed a dramatic pavilion on College Street, beckoning pedestrians from either end of College Street to come and interact. Trea Sweeny, TruexCullins,  and Owen Smith, Smith Alvarez Sienkiewycz Architects, were awarded the second place prize for their Gondola scheme, offering a direct and tangible connection between the waterfront and Church Street with sweeping lake views.


Being presented the problem statement at the beginning of a 4-hour work block makes for a frantic, creative energy in the room. The creativity at every table is almost palpable, like you can reach out and grab it. If only we could gather and bottle up the energy of a charrette, to pull out whenever needed -- a designer’s dream!


The Generator Makerspace provided an ideal location for getting our hands dirty, in the spirit of creating. As always, we thank the event sponsors for supporting emerging professionals and the frenzied excitement of a design charrette.


Thank you, Sponsors!

Interface, Freeman French Freeman, Scott + Partners Architecture, Birdseye Design, Duncan Wisniewski Architects, TruexCullins, Gossens Bachman Architects, Windows & Doors by Brownell, and Pella Windows.