This year’s Marvin Architects Challenge winners represented some of the most diverse and impressive projects in the contest’s history, and we’re taking a closer look.
From Maine to California, the architects we work with are truly masters of their craft. Armed with an intimate knowledge of the sites they’re building on — they harness views to bring light, air and the beauty of nature into their buildings. As the temperatures drop and the light gets shorter, we’re looking back at these architectural marvels and the creative use of windows and doors that bring these projects to life.
McClellan Ranch and Preserve – California
Nestled on an 18-acre farmstead in Cupertino California, the McClellen Ranch and Preserve hosts the city’s environmental education program. Architect Henry Siegel of Siegel & Strain Architects seeded the vision for this LEED Gold facility that maximizes views, ventilation and natural light while keeping heat gain from the California sun at a minimum. A Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Door spanning the entire West-facing porch allows ample natural light and fresh air to flow in, making the porch feel like an extension of the classroom. Casement and hopper windows frame the vast nature preserve beyond, bringing a cool breeze into the classrooms.
Knoll House – Vermont
This 2,300-square-foot house is a study in architectural understatement. The Knoll House was envisioned as an extension of the serene tree-ringed knoll on which it sits, and Elizabeth Herrmann of Elizabeth Herrmann Architecture + Design worked diligently alongside the homeowners to gain a deep understanding of the site and how to maximize views of the meadow to the west and the wooded vistas from the kids’ wing. Oversized casement windows add a connection to the landscape, arranged like large format paintings to frame the colorful views.
Westborough Town Hall – Massachusetts
This historical Westborough Town Hall building was inefficient, underutilized and inaccessible until architect Brian Humes of Jacunski Humes Architects was tasked with restoring this 1925 landmark to its original glory. Major renovations to the facade included replacing all windows with historically accurate replicas, including the Marvin Ultimate Double Hung Magnum and special shape windows made custom to fit existing openings that frame the stately vistas in the center of town.
Oak Point – Maine
Oak Point sits just 75 feet from the Atlantic Ocean, and its original floor plan of just 1,800 square feet and fir plywood construction make its rebirth even more striking. Architects William Hanley and partner Heli Mesiniemi of WMH Architects reimagined the home for the 21st Century, honoring the homeowners’ intense emotional and family connection with the home while creating a space that would make this an all-season getaway. Expansive walls of Marvin Coastal Complete casements give the home a transparency from nearly every angle, custom-built to match the home’s original aesthetics.
Little Camp – Massachusetts
Exposed rafter tails, a farmhouse wood interior and tree trunk porch posts give Little Camp its unique personality. This camp-style home is a two-story dwelling in Coastal New England, thoughtfully designed by Jacob Albert of Albert, Righter and Tittman Architects to embody the spirit of a nearby camp frequented by the homeowners growing up. The house is built low and long, with Marvin Double Hung windows framing water views to the north with abundant sunlight flowing in from the south.
Compact Living – Minnesota
At just 380 square feet, Compact Living has style and architectural details that transcend its small footprint. Architect Chris Strom of Christopher Strom Architects transformed the home’s single-stall garage into an ultracompact contemporary guesthouse with full kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a light-filled living space thanks to windows or doors on all four sides. A Marvin Ultimate Sliding French Door completely opens the home to the deck, creating a strong connection to the yard and neighborhood.