Twelve Middlebury students were part of the Island Design Assembly team that created an award-winning community pavilion on Isle au Haut, Maine.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The New England Region of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2017 Design Awards has announced that a group of 12 Middlebury students working with the firm McLeod Kredell Architects won a merit award for their design and build project completed in September on an island in Maine. The project was created by Island Design Assembly (IDA), an eight-day program supported by Middlebury College, and run by McLeod Kredell. IDA brings students together with professional architects and educators to complete a service project for an island community in Maine’s Penobscot Bay.

This year’s award-winning project–a community pavilion–was designed and built for Isle au Haut. The collaborative effort was one of 275 projects submitted to AIA New England for its design excellence awards and one of just 25 to be honored.

In their comments, the jury described the IDA project as having a strong sense of community and collaboration.

“This is a project that unfolded over 5 years, a collaboration between a firm, students and different communities working together,” the judges wrote. “We recognize it for both its process working within some serious constraints on remote island sites and the inventive forms that were its results.”

The completed pavilion on Isle au Haut in Penobscot Bay, Maine.

It’s not the first time IDA has earned honors. In fact, five of its past projects have earned honors from AIA New England.

“Our program, projects, and students continue to be recognized in the professional sphere,” said Assistant Professor of Architecture John McLeod, a partner with McLeod Kredell. “This is quite a big deal—the awards competition considers projects located anywhere in the world by architects based in the six New England states, and projects completed in New England by architects based anywhere in the world.”

Founded in 2012 by McLeod and his design partner Steve Kredell, IDA creates short, immersive experiences for students from its base on Hurricane Island. The group lives off the grid for eight days, designing, building and assembling a project for an island community. Past projects have included a footbridge, green house, and composting operation.