Champlain College, Burlington, VT
A historic structure is reborn as an innovative model of sustainability
Vacant for six years, this 150-year-old former residence required both a substantial renovation and a large addition to meet the goal of transforming it into a signature Welcome and Admissions Center. Reflecting both a respect for its heritage and a commitment to an innovative future, the college now has a center that provides a strong first impression for prospective students and their parents in a competitive admissions environment.
Two new wings flank the historic 1860s structure at the heart of the building. The concept for the addition was to take design cues from the neighborhood’s many porches. By setting the addition to the rear of the original house, its residential character—and that of its National Register Historic District location—was maintained. The new “porch” was conceived as an entry and circulation spine connecting the historic building and the addition, while reinforcing the new campus promenade.
- Modern, light-filled meeting spaces and masterfully preserved rooms in the original structure provide comfortable spaces for prospective students and parents to gather.
- A commitment to environmental and social stewardship was at the heart of the design. We conducted community meetings and design reviews over two years, gaining neighborhood and city acceptance of the large addition.
- As an urban campus, the Perry lawn shaped by the addition significantly improves the quality and livability of the college, providing a natural green space that accommodates informal and formal gatherings, quiet enjoyment of the outdoors, informal recreation, and celebrations.
- This LEED Platinum building includes a major storm water management system that reduces infrastructure costs for both the college and the city, a geothermal system, and a distinctive green roof.