Design Vanguard 2020: McLeod Kredell Architects
John McLeod and Stephen Kredell believe that design is more than aesthetics or technology: it is an approach to practice, and theirs is that anyone and anywhere deserves design. Through teaching, working with private clients, partnering with communities, and building alongside students and volunteers, they practice an architecture that gives back, and honors people and place. Projects range from modest, necessary structures such as chicken tractors or greenhouses for rural island communities, to net zero residences and academic buildings.
Habitat for Humanity Housing: In their roles as studio professors at Middlebury College, the architects work with their students to design affordable houses with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Each house is built to Vermont’s highest performance standards for energy efficiency, thus minimizing the operating costs for the owners. For the first pair of houses, standing-seam metal on the roof and long walls, with local white cedar infill at the gable ends, reinforces the extruded form.
Nature Preserve House: To test the belief that Vermont architecture can be both modern and of its place, this 1,500-square-foot house in Weybridge, Vermont, belonging to McLeod, sticks to the fundamentals of traditional rural New England houses: a base anchored in the landscape, a wood-skinned box resting on the base, an overall economy of form, and a central hearth. It also has a “poor man’s green roof” made of hay bales from a nearby farm.
Alder Brook Cabins: These seasonal cabins with a shared bathhouse offer simple overnight accommodations and a place of retreat next to Alder Brook in the northern hardwood forest of the Green Mountains. This 250-square-foot horizontal version contains spaces with varying transparency and adjustable enclosure depending on weather.
Compost Towers: Built for a school in North Haven Island, Maine, these slatted towers allow compost to aerate in place, without transfer. The towers, which are used as a teaching opportunity and also for storage of garden tools, are on axis with the approach drive and glow at night with solar powered lights.
DESIGN STAFF: 2–4
PRINCIPALs: John McLeod, Stephen Kredell
EDUCATION: McLeod: Virginia Tech, M.Arch., 1997; University of Virginia, B.A., 1991. Kredell: Virginia Tech, M.Arch., 1997; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1991
WORK HISTORY: McLeod: John McLeod Architect 2007–11; Rogers Marvel Architects, 1997-2004; Studio Architetto Hunziker, 1995. Kredell: Truex Cullins, 2005–11; Rogers Marvel Architects, 2003–05; John Ciardullo Associates, 1998–2003
KEY COMPLETED PROJECTS: Middlebury College Computer Science Building, Middlebury, VT, 2019; Foote Farm House, Cornwall, VT, 2013; Island Design Assembly community design/build projects, Maine, 2012–19
KEY CURRENT PROJECTS: Middlebury College Art & Architecture building renovation, Middlebury; Private Residence, Stowe; ongoing Habitat for Humanity housing design with Middlebury College architecture students (all in Vermont)