Long out-of-use farm buildings are a common sight throughout Vermont.  Yet, on a pristine, historic farmstead in Cornwall, one old milking parlor has become a contemplative writing space that recognizes and honors its agricultural past.  At its annual meeting in early December, the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized VIA with a 2015 Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture, Small Project for the transformation of this unassuming farm building into a contemporary writer’s studio (see Writer’s Studio in our portfolio).

The jury, made up of members of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, noted that the building was “skillfully restored around a wonderful interior space that has been transformed with imagination, ingenuity, and technical virtuosity.”  Of the hand crank mechanism fashioned from a salvaged dairy barn stanchion and farm equipment gears, the jury stated that “the new hardware associated with the sliding mezzanine is simple, thoughtful, familiar, but clearly innovative, and even playful.”  Overall they felt the project was “marked by a high level of consistency between language and imagination.”