On January 16, 2019

Killington home gets architecture award

By Erica Allen Studio

This home in Killington received the peer choice award for its unique architecture at the annual AIA Vermont ceremony Dec. 13. The home was designed by BirdseyeVT, an architecture firm in Richmond. Vermont.

By Katy Savage

A Killington home’s unique design has won an architectural award.

The home, sitting on a cliff off a ski trail at Killington Resort, was designed by BirdseyeVT, an architecture firm in Richmond.

The house sits on a platform and looks as if the sides are folding onto themselves. It’s clad in cedar and cortex metal panels with a reverse living arrangement. The kitchen and living spaces are on the top floor, offering an expansive view of the mountains.

The home won the peer choice award among 36 projects at the American Institute of Architects Vermont award ceremony held Dec. 13 in White River Junction.

“It’s a really neat design,” said AIA Vermont Executive Director Sarah O Donnell.

This was the first year AIA Vermont offered a peer award.  The homeowners, a family of two professionals with two kids, requested to remain anonymous. Birdseye architect Jeff McBride declined to say where the home was located at the homeowners’ request.

McBride said they were contacted by the clients in 2015. Colby & Tobiason in Woodstock built the home in 18 months, finishing it at the end of 2017.

“They really wanted us to push a contemporary design,” McBride said. “They really let us play and make something unique.”

The 5,185-square-foot home is built on a very small previously developed lot, directly adjacent from the ski trails.

“The site is very compact and required some gymnastics to make it work,” McBride said. “We were constrained in a lot of ways.”

Birdseye has a team of 50 architects and builders. It works across the state and New York and Rhode Island. This was the firm’s first house designed in Killington. McBride said the architects tried to use some of the site’s existing infrastructure at their clients’ request.

​“They came to us with a lot of very bold ideas,” McBride said. “They wanted a house that performed to the site.”

Birdseye has received three awards, determined by a panel of judges from Minneapolis. Birdseye received a merit award for a private residence designed on a lake in New York State’s Adirondack Park and a citation award for a home built for comfort on Lake Champlain.

Brian Mac, the lead architect at Birdseye, was also nationally recognized with an AIA fellowship.

“It’s a wonderful thing and it’s  wonderful for Vermont,” said Rolf Kielman, a fellow architect at the Burlington-based TruexCullins Architecture and Interior Design firm.

Kielman said Vermont’s architecture is unique compared to other places. Homes are modest and thoughtfully considered. There’s a desire to preserve the old.

“Nothing gets so fancy it loses its allure,”  Kielman said.

Mac’s architectural designs fit that concept. McBride said about three percent of architects receive the fellowship.

“He’s fostered an environment that’s really collaborative and innovative,” McBride said.

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