Aug 1, 2013

Champlain Investment Partners Awarded LEED-CI Silver

TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design is pleased to announce that the interior office space for Champlain Investment Partners has been awarded LEED Silver Certification for Commercial Interiors from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The design of this Class A office space was inspired by the surrounding landscape of the Lake Champlain basin and is a celebration of Vermont culture and community. The use of natural and local materials supports the LEED rating system and establishes a true Vermont character for this independent employee owned firm.

The new 13,000 sq. ft. tenant fitup is located within the recently completed Waterfront Plaza building in downtown Burlington, recently awarded LEED Certification for Core & Shell Development. The LEED Core & Shell rating system is designed to be used by developers to certify the core and shell of a project and prepare the building for environmentally conscious tenants. The LEED for Commercial Interiors rating system recognizes high performance green tenant spaces that are healthy, energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

The tenant project earned high marks for its downtown site location; energy efficiency measures; and superior indoor air quality. The project also received credit for utilizing sustainable materials and resources. The building materials and furnishings used in the project contain a total of 24% recycled content, and interior wood products were sourced from well-managed FSC-certified forests.

The reception area features hardwood flooring salvaged from the Vermont forest and Champlain Marble quarried from the region. A billowing ceiling of cloth panels provides a contrasting softness to the space and alludes to the gentle sailboats on Lake Champlain. The design of the workspace promotes teamwork and collaboration with shared meeting and lounge spaces in prime locations and a quiet library for focused work or small group meetings.

The project was led by TruexCullins Principal David Epstein, AIA, LEED AP, and Associate Matthew Bushey, AIA, LEED AP. The developer/contractor was Investors Corporation of Vermont. Additional design team members include: Hallam-ICS, building commissioning; Mountain Air Systems, mechanical engineering; and Pearson Associates, electrical engineering.

Jul 30, 2013

Hotel Vermont Attracting International Attention

We were pleased to see a wonderful review of the recently opened Hotel Vermont in this past weekend's Montreal Gazette. The hotel is gaining national and international attention as more people experience this unique, independent, Very Vermont hotel.

The Montreal Gazette calls it a "woodsy and trendy" hip venue. "An artisan project from furniture to food." The author was a guest of the hotel and goes on to write: "Burlington’s first contemporary boutique property, the Hotel Vermont opened this year with a singular dedication to regional products, individual craftsmanship and eco-consciousness."

You can read the whole Montreal Gazette article online.

Hotel Vermont was also earlier previewed in Lodging Magazine, the official magazine of the American Hotel + Lodging Association.

The May 2013 issue featured a rendering of the Deluxe King guestroom, released before the hotel opened. "A Vermont Vignette" provided a sneak peak of the guestroom with its custom bed and casework furnishings, overlooking Lake Champlain.

A longer article was published on the Lodging Magazine website: Hotel Vermont Opens as Burlington's First Independent Hotel.

Jul 29, 2013

Softball, TruexCullins vs Engineering Ventures

Engineering Ventures joined TruexCullins for a beautiful-sunny day of softball and fun. Although TruexCullins played well, Engineering Ventures prevailed with their power-batting line up.

Here are some pictures from game at Callahan Park.

Lee Grutchfield calls for some help.



Exited fan!

EV's Paul Bunyan
Lee getting ready to cream the ball.

A triple is in sight for Carmen George.

Cam inspects the pitch and vows to crush it.


First time playing softball! Great job Elena!

E's secret weapon.


Jul 1, 2013

Meet TruexCullins Summer Interns

Elena Konva from Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine has a Bachelor of Architecture and is working toward her Master of Architecture from Pridniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture (PSACEA). The focus of her internship at TruexCullins, and her master’s thesis, is eco-design technologies.

Kate Ford is a resident of Hinesburg, Vermont. She is attending Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, and will be starting her senior year in Florence, Italy where she will continue to study Architecture, Art + Architectural History and Visual Arts.

Anya Smith of Colchester is interning with TruexCullins this summer. She will be returning to Rhode Island School of Design in the fall to focus on Interior Architecture Design.

Jun 27, 2013

Topnotch Resort Opens New Restaurant and Lobby

This is opening weekend for many of the new spaces at Topnotch Resort and Spa. TruexCullins has been working with the Stowe resort as they undertook a multimillion dollar renovation to transform many of the key places within the property.

A new exterior porte-cochere improves the arrival experience and now leads guests into the main lobby overlooking Mt Mansfield. The new lobby features a communal living room, café, and bar, and is home to The Roost, a refined but playful restaurant and lounge. In the center of the space sits a 16-foot custom designed shuffleboard table. A large banquet room provides additional seating.


TruexCullins Interiors also spearheaded a design overhaul on the Topnotch guestrooms. Renovations include a coordinating color palette with new furnishings and finishes.

We are excited for all the changes and hope to see many people enjoying the new Topnotch Resort on this opening weekend!

Jun 20, 2013

Furnishings for Introverts Revealed at Neocon 2013

by Matt Bushey

At NeoCon 2013 in Chicago last week, the contract furniture industry rolled out their latest products, and I noticed one major recurring theme: furnishings that create private spaces for individuals and small group meetings, free from the distractions of the open office:

These plush booths by the contemporary Swiss furniture company Vitra are perfect for a cozy meeting with colleagues when a little more privacy is called for.  Named the Alcove Cabin, this high-backed booth creates a room of its own that wraps around you on all sides.  This is one line in what Vitra refers to as "Meet and Retreat" spaces in the modern office.

In the Business section of today's Burlington Free Press, I talk about the need to design workspaces like this that are appropriate for both extroverts and introverts.  And based on what I saw in Chicago, many of the furniture manufacturers are getting the message.

Read on for the full story, with more examples of furniture for introverts and extroverts at the end of the article:

Space for Introverts and Extroverts
Workspaces increasingly strive to provide a balance between collaboration and concentration 

Every company is comprised of individuals, each with their own personalities, work styles, and preferences. So how do we craft one space that meets the needs of such a diverse group?

At the recent Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility spring conference, I led a workshop on designing workspaces to provide a balance between collaboration and concentration, and one of the most compelling questions we heard was how to provide space that is effective for both introverts and extroverts.

True extroverts are gregarious, social, and assertive. Extroverts are outgoing and comfortable expressing themselves, and they tend to be good at multitasking and handling large amounts of information at once.

However, an estimated 30- 50% of the people we work with are introverts. In general, introverts prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities, tend to think before they speak, and work best focused on a single task with few interruptions.

In business, as in life, we need both types of people: those who speak freely and those who think deeply. Studies have shown that the most productive teams are those that combine both introverts and extroverts, and the most effective leaders are those who can bring out the talents of all.

The modern office has become more open and fluid to promote teamwork and collaboration but this has introduced challenges for meeting individual’s needs since introverts and extroverts exhibit different work styles and react differently to their physical surroundings.

How do these differences manifest themselves in the workplace? One theory is that extroverts excel in the open plan because they thrive from the multiple interactions within one space. They draw creative energy from chance encounters and group collaboration. Introverts, on the other hand, prefer to retreat to a secluded space where they can focus on individual tasks without distraction.

An opposing theory claims the exact opposite: that introverts actually work better in an open plan because they have an innate ability to block out noise and distractions. They can shut out their surroundings and look into themselves to accomplish their work. According to this theory, extroverts are at a disadvantage because they are more easily distracted by all of the activity surrounding them.

Whichever may be the case, I am increasingly recommending "flexible", open plans with a mix of spaces to support different tasks and personalities. This concept was evident last week in Chicago at NeoCon World Trade Fair, North America's largest design expo for commercial interiors. Here, more than 700 manufacturers release their new products each year, much of it based on research related to ergonomics, human psychology, and work styles.

In past years, the emphasis was on ‘benching’, long open tables where rows of workers sit side-by-side with no separation. This year, however, the focus was on furnishings and systems that provide greater individual privacy, such as 4-person booths with tall panels that wrap around three sides, and chairs with felt-lined canopies that can muffle a private phone call.

Some of these solutions are practical and some are playful, but they all aim to create peaceful spaces that offer visual and acoustical privacy within a louder open plan. This is a clear acknowledgement that workers have varying space needs as they perform different tasks throughout the day, and people perform better in different environments depending on their personality type: introvert, extrovert, or something in between.

Coalesse, a division of Steelcase, released the Massaud Lounge chair at NeoCon this year.  This "privacy pod" features a flip-down hood that masks your vision and voice.  Inside, an iPad mounts to the felted canopy for some private facetime or Skype sessions.

Another example of space-making for introverts: This high-backed booth by Bretford, where 4 people can meet in relative privacy.  The furniture is embedded with power and USB ports for charging your mobile devices.