A connection to nature plays a starring role for this year’s winners that share breathtaking views and living spaces that transcend the indoors.
From the mountains to the coast, the winning projects in the 10th annual Marvin Architects Challenge were designed to maximize their beautiful sites. With floor-to-ceiling windows to frame views, easy transitions from indoor to outdoor and natural materials that complement their surroundings, these projects take the perfect marriage of form and function to heart.
Best Contemporary and Best in Show: Pleated House
Sebastian Schmaling; Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Door County, Wisconsin
Embedded in a dense forest on the shore of Wisconsin’s Door County, our Best Contemporary winner is nestled in a small clearing at the edge of a gently sloping site. With materials that nearly camouflage into the trees, the home’s charred wood board exterior creates the impression of a pleating curtain. Inside, a minimalist interior and expansive casement windows help frame the secluded views and a lift-and-slide door provides a seamless connection to the wooded site.
Best Transitional: The Rose Coast Residence
Monica Adair + Stephen Kopp; Acre Architects
St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Perched among the wild roses of St. Andrews-by-the-sea’s beautiful shoreline, the Rose Coast Residence overlooks Minister’s Island and frames views of a historic tidal bath house. The natural stone and wood exterior is designed as a nod to the site’s history, while contemporary architectural touches allow it to be impactful but not obtrusive. The connection to the site is emphasized with large window walls using traditional double hung windows, large sliding and swinging french doors and specialty shape windows to maximize views of the shoreline.
Best Traditional New Construction: Excelsior Lake Home
Dan Nepp, AIA, ID, NCARB; TEA2 Architects
Nestled up to Lake Minnetonka, this traditional home prioritizes material richness and timeless character over a large footprint. The exterior style of the home was an homage to the historic shingle-style houses in the area, while the interior was designed to capture lake views and allow Western sunlight to flood its interior. Natural wood touches bring warmth to an open main level living suite, and large double hung windows and french doors are strategically placed to create blended indoor/outdoor entertaining spaces.
Best Remodel/Addition: Brooklyn Heights Remodel
Ben Herzog; Ben Herzog Architect, PC
Brooklyn, New York
A two-story addition to the back of a landmarked brownstone in this Brooklyn Heights Remodel allowed for the creation of a light-filled kitchen, new nursery and sitting area, and a study adjacent to the master bedroom suite. Spaces in the new addition are engulfed in natural light through several casement windows and multiple swinging french doors.
Best Commercial: Frick Environmental Center
Robert T. Aumer, Jr., AIA; Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Situated on the edge of Pittsburgh’s wooded 644-acre Frick Park, the Frick Environmental Center is a living learning center for hands-on environmental education—providing visitors with diverse opportunities to experience a natural ecosystem while learning the technical aspects of a net-zero building. An assortment of Marvin specialty shape windows, awning, casement and double hung windows, as well as a commercial door, flood the center with an abundance of natural light.
Built between 1923 and 1925, The Pizitz operated as a department store until its doors closed in 1988. A four-year revitalization project kicked off in 2012, requiring any new windows to match the originals and be approved by the National Park Service. More than 300 windows were replaced with custom specialty shape, awning, casement and double hung windows—completing a building that now features a food hall, shared workspace and 143 apartments.
Learn more about all projects at Marvin.com.