Field Excursion

by TruexCullins, December 7, 2010

posted by Matthew Bushey
It’s an annual tradition in our office that once a year, we step aside from our desks for a few hours and make a group pilgrimage to visit a few works of architecture and design that we hope will serve to inspire and inform.
This time around, we visited three TruexCullins projects that opened their doors for business over this past year: Church & Main restaurant in downtown Burlington; the new FBO facility for Heritage Flight at the Burlington International Airport; and the wonderfully bright renovation to the Kindergarten and 1st grade wing of the Hinesburg Community School.
Our tour started with a delicious lunch at Church & Main, the new restaurant at the bottom of Church Street that just opened over Columbus Day weekend. (I recommend the Chicken and Waffles, found under the “Your Comfort Zone” section of the menu: a perfectly cooked boneless filet of crispy fried chicken served on a savory herbed corn waffle topped with a bourbon & bacon gravy. Yum!)
But of course, we were focused on the Interior Design: TruexCullins Interiors assisted with the furnishings, lighting, and finishes in this renovated space, formerly occupied by the popular Smokejacks restaurant. For the rebirth as Church & Main, the bar has been pulled forward towards Church Street, and a variety of seating options are available in the dining room in the back half of the space, including flexible tables and intimate semi-circular booths.
Our next stop was the impressive Heritage Aviation facility at the Burlington airport. Richard Deane led a tour of the 60,000 square foot building that was completely stripped and rebuilt from an old Army National Guard hangar.We started in the lobby, where the immense structural crossbracing gives you the first indication that this is a space with high ambitions.  As we continued through the building, the well appointed interiors were evident in everything from the executive conference rooms to the public restrooms. Up on the roof, we walked along one of the largest green roofs in New England, set amidst a 19 kW PV array and within view of the adjacent 100 kW wind turbine, the first ever installed at an airport location. This super-green facility was the 2010 winner of Efficiency Vermont’s Best of the Best Award in Commercial Building Design & Construction, and is receiving LEED Silver Certification.
Our last stop was to the Hinesburg Community School, which only 2 weeks earlier had opened the doors on their new Kindergarten and grade-1 wing. This renovation was the work of Matt Wheaton in the Education Studio, with interior designer Rebekah Bose. This was the perfect way to end our day: there is no better way to appreciate the work that any of us do than to hear from those who use it on a daily basis. And at this place, the last stop on our tour, we were lucky enough to speak with the teachers who are benefiting from the renovation, a space they simply refer to as a “gift”. There was a smile on everyone’s face as we listened to the very kind words of the Principal, Bob Goudreau. He described the transformation in the attitude of the students, teachers and parents who have walked down these halls.
The classroom wing has been reconfigured, with the addition of new lighting, colorful finishes, and skylights that punctuate the ceiling in a staggered rhythm marching down the hall. This newest wing of the Hinesburg Community School is a space that facilitates learning, but also makes learning fun.

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