Becoming an architect occurred in a flash. Not once did I think of Architecture as a profession until that moment, although seeds were planted. At six, bored in the pews of Blessed Trinity Church in Buffalo, NY, I had a vision of soaring around the dome and into the gold tabernacle where the miniature space expanded along an infinite axis. The first time we went bowling, I felt the horizontally compressed space in the Bowl-O-Drome as physically different from church space while rows of elm trees in summer breezes created a soothing street cathedral. At fifteen, I walked divided Berlin and came to a blue glass church added to remnants of a bombed church steeple and I remembered the light as reconciling.
I studied psychology at Cornell but read about the house that CG Jung built for himself, each piece reflecting a different part of his soul while surrounded by architecture students in a white, ramped, flat roofed apartment buildingoverhanging a gorge and laughingly calledCorbusian; we would play music amidst drawings and models. Hitchhiking across Canada and the western US, I saw weird domes and woodbutcher houses in Mendocino and became a carpenter in Salt Lake City. I inhaled the smell of skillsawed redwood and cedar in the morning and delighted in shadows cast by rough framing before a sad entombment in fake tudor siding. One day, balanced on a beam 30' in the air, laying out rafters, I paused: White snow swirling, yellow plywood and studs, black dots of distant deer crossing the mountain ridge above, red hooded boss sweatshirt below telling me to hurry - the four colors of alchemy, I thought - all that stuff in me burst and I wanted to be an architect.
Back at Cornell: BArch, study in Berlin, explore Italy, France and Spain and work in Ithaca. Professors advised a big city; in 1979 I came to Vermont; a place ripe with possibility that I do not think has yet been fulfilled. Elsewhere on this site I plan to post more detailed musings on architecture and the landscape. In the meantime:
I see design as a series of revisions. An initial impulse grows from the interaction of program, site and context. This is tested and reworked and often transformed into something new. The goal is to find forms that bring the many conflicting desires and forces at play into balance.
I am obsessed with flowing, functional floor plans and keep fiddling with them until they are just right. I draw on the physical and cultural surroundings to find forms that can be reinterpreted and abstracted so they are both old and new, fit in and stand out, are calm and vigorous and where the opposites are unified.
And when the rare client who would like to build on that basis but do something a little bit unusual comes along; then I am ready to explore new realms.
EDUCATION & LICENSE
Vermont Registration # 1202
Cornell University; College of Architecture, Art & Planning, B Arch, 1978.
Berlin Summer Academy in Architecture, 1977.
Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, psychology major, 1970-72.
SITE SPECIFIC INSTALLATIONSPERFORMANCE
2007 Whirling Dervish Woodpile; Hinesburg VT.
1997 Waterfront Art Project - Pease Grain Tower. 12 month installation/performance.
1991 Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., "The Promised Land", Burlington, VT.
Tango, travel, photography, film, art, mythology, cooking, history, literature, yoga.
Peru, Italy, Sicily, Jordan, Cuba, Yucatan - Mexico, Spain, Berlin, France, Nova Scotia, Hitchhike across Canada and western US, Germany and Austria
2011Vermont AIA Design Awards - Hickory Street Neighborhood, Rutland, VT
2007Community Development Housing Achievement Award - Whitcombs Woods
2005Chora - ArtGate VTAIA Competition for Artist Transportation Center Design Award.
2005Chittenden County Historical Society Awards - Noonan House.
2002Vermont AIA Design Awards - Jury Choice - Williston Information Areas.
2001Anderson Parkway - Best Affordable Housing Subdivision, NVHBRA.
1996Pasackow Medal for Downtown Design Excellence - CornerStone Building.
1988Progressive Architecture Citation, BUDS Project, Burlington, VT.
1987Progressive Architecture - Young Architect Award Issue.
1982Garden Way Compact House Competition Winner.
1978Steedman Competition -Third Prize.
1978Rapuano Memorial Medal for distinction in design.
1978Student AIA Medal.
AIA Panel Discussion on Design and Presentation on Sen No Rikyu. 2007
Nature & Culture: Work of Karl F. Schinkel, UVM/Fire House Gallery Lecture, 2006.
Vermont Technical College, Randolph, VT. Guest Review Critic, 2003.
Vermont College of Architecture, Norwich, VT - Guest Review Critic. 1992-2011.
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec--Guest review critic. 1988-96.
Church Street Center-- "Unmeasurable" lecture series and course. 1989-90.
Yestermorrow, Warren, VT -- Lecturer and guest review critic. 1991-96.
1998Waterfront Art Project, City Hall Gallery, Burlington, VT.
1997Waterfront Art Project, Firehouse Gallery, Burlington VT.
1990Three Architects with Spirit, Artists Collective, Burlington, VT.
1986Architectural Concepts, Passepartout Gallery, Winooski, VT.
1985Vermont Council Of Arts - traveling architecture exhibit.
1982Architectural Constructions, Living Learning Center, UVM.
1981Six Vermont Architects, Living/Learning Center, UVM.
Burlington City Arts, Public Art Committee Chair, 1999 - 2006.
Burlington City Arts, Board Member, 1999 - 2004.
Vermont Public Radio Community Advisory Board, Secretary, 1999 - 2002.
Wainer Community Playground, Hinesburg, VT, Designer and Co-Organizer.
05401 12.10 'List of My Favorite Buildings and Spaces' Michael Wisniewski
Best of Burlington, Spring 2008. 'The Best of Burlington Architecture', Michael Wisniewski
05401 06.97 Review of Mermaid Building, Mannie Lionni
Seven Days, "Best of the Rest", Donald Kreis, review of Williston Project, 2003
Business People of Vermont, Long Rangers (firm profile), Rosalyn Graham, May 2003
05401 06.97 'Roasted Red Peppers'. Michael Wisniewski
Expressive Details, by Duo Dickinson, McGraw Hill, 1996
05401 12.95 - Review of Burlington Food Shelf, Mannie Lionni
Burlington Free Press, "Home, Homage", 30 March, 1991
HomeOwner, "Bathed in Style", pg 36-37, March 1991
Harrowsmith Country Living, "AHouse in the Woods", July 1990
Vanguard Press, " Move Over Euclid", 22 February, 1990
Progressive Architecture, B.U.D.S. Citation, Award issue. 1988
New York Times, Home Design Issue, 18 October, 1987
Progressive Architecture, Young Architect Awards, June 1987
North by Northeast, "Foundations and Fantasies", Sept., 1986
New England Electric, Energy Efficient Homes, 1983
Garden Way Compact House Book, Don Metz, 1982