Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Boyden Valley Winery Bar

We recently completed a bar renovation for Boyden Valley Winery in Cambridge, VT.  The tasting area is in a timber framed barn- we found merging the modern bars and bar backs with the rustic space to be  an interesting design and installation challenge, but the result is a tidy and inviting space.  The bar surfaces and fronts are White Oak and the bar back and cabinets are clad in hot rolled steel.  We used patinated galvanized steel straps affixed with rivets on the bar fronts as a nod to wine barrel hoops.  Stop by and check it out.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

On Site Maple becomes Bunk Beds

This set of eight bunks was made for a ski house in Warren.  What makes them particularly interesting is that all of the solid wood used in their construction was milled from Sugar Maple trees cut down on the house site during the preliminary site clearing process.  The logs were brought to our shop in Richmond, where they were milled into dimensional lumber by a portable band saw mill, then stickered and stacked to air dry.  After several months, we put the boards in our kiln to finish the drying process and used the resulting conditioned boards to build the beds.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Birdseye Building House Moving Video

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mad River Valley Ski Home

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cantilever House Featured in Best of Burlington!

Birdseye Design's Cantilever House was featured in spring 2014 issue of the Best of Burlington magazine!  You can read the article on pages 44-47 of the issue, available in print or on their website here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New England Home Magazine

Hip to Be Square: A vacation home that's sleek, spare and unabashedly modern
Jim Westphalen
No one questioned why a busy professional couple would seek rejuvenation by the side of a lake, particularly this one in western Vermont. The pretty, tranquil spot exudes calm and relaxation. The husband and wife had good friends close by, too, which only made the location more desirable.
What did pique some interest, however, was the owners’ decision to rebuild on the site when the existing house proved to be beyond repair. The couple sought a minimalist approach for their new retreat. In an area long filled with traditional summer houses and rustic camps, a modern abode, it was worried, could seem totally unlike its neighbors.
Lo and behold, the completed house put to rest any concerns the neighbors might have had. The building’s simple, unassuming demeanor turned out to be a perfect fit, so well suited to its environment that no one will be surprised if it sparks more contemporary architecture in the area.
The challenges—what the architect, Brian J. Mac of Richmond, Vermont’s Birdseye Design, calls “a narrow, spaghetti-like lot,” a steep grade change from the top of the property to the shore, and the usual heap of tricky restrictions that come with waterside construction—today seem as remote as the moon. Given the way Mac, project manager Joe Fisher, and landscape architect H. Keith Wagner, principal of Burlington, Vermont–based Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture, have so skillfully married house and setting, why dwell on the past?
Whether one views the place from a canoe out on the lake or from the graveled driveway that leads visitors in at the site’s crest, it’s a stellar design. (The Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects agrees, having bestowed on the house a recent Merit Award.)
A detached, 400-square-foot garage, which also houses the husband’s studio, perches at the top of the hill. Concrete slab steps float downward to the 2,000-square-foot main house, which is beautifully cantilevered over a concrete terrace. The front entry, master suite, guest bedroom, and a screened porch sit on the top level; the open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area is situated below. The black metal and concrete used for both buildings enhances their connection to each other and their interaction with the woodsy setting.
Rather than stack the volumes, Mac ingeniously extended the top floor of each structure to one side, enhancing visual interest. Large windows—in some cases whole walls of glass—allow for spectacular lake views from both house and studio. Wagner and his crew limbed up the existing trees running along the water’s edge—a skillful maneuver that makes for better vistas and creates a naturally dramatic frame for the home.
The project’s phenomenal outcome, explains the architect, is really a tribute to the owners’ determination to build something they would love. “They stayed motivated and didn’t allow anything to sidetrack their original intentions,” Mac says with admiration. No excess, no superfluous details of any kind anywhere. Each space is pure and functional, as if to underscore the belief that living well really does—we hear Thoreau applauding—translate into getting back to the basics.
The interior glows. White walls shoot light in all directions, including into the kitchen where a stainless-steel counter big enough to seat a slew of hungry guests resides. The kitchen cabinets are made of durable Parapan, a solid, high-gloss acyclic material meant to stand the test of time. A handcrafted wood table and benches nearby provide a welcoming island as well. Their curvaceous forms offset the straightforwardness of the architecture, while their dark color—a noteworthy contrast to the pale palette of the rest of the kitchen—interjects fireside-like warmth. Mac and the owners collaborated on the well-edited furnishings. Eames chairs and a linear steel coffee table keep the comfortable but tailored sofa company.
This same sparseness pervades the Zen-like master bath and bedroom. In the latter, a Parapan wall serves as a backdrop for the couple’s very cool bed, with its sculptural steel headboard. “The owners and I designed this bed together,” Mac says. “Since Birdseye is a design/build company, we’re easily able to bounce ideas around and share drawings with clients.” Bocci pendants cast a halo of light for reading. And large windows—in the airy bath and bedroom—yield still more views of the glorious New England surroundings. •

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lucky next door

We are fortunate to be working with Holly Cluse and Charles Reeves, owners of Penny Cluse restaurant in Burlington.  We are designing and building a tie-in restaurant next to Penny Cluse called Lucky next door.  Holly and Charles are collaborating with us in all of the creative design concepts, the down-and-dirty demolition and the finishing of the details.  The storefront will be a custom crafted expression of unique artistry, a commendable investment into the downtown Burlington streetscape.  Above is the custom stainless steel/metal sign being fabricated by Chelsie in our metal shop at Birdseye.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Birdseye Culture

Our project architect, John Linn, enjoys spending his summers atop a variety of mainly two wheeled vehicles.   Locally he trail rides on his dirt bikes and enjoys ripping up a few local motocross tracks.  His real passion however is of the more paved variety.  He’s an instructor for Tony’s Track Days where he helps experienced riders hone their skills at race tracks in New York, New Hampshire and New Jersey.  John is also in the midst of a very successful race season in the Loudon Road Racing Series where he has a solid points lead in three of the classes there.  LRRS is the local affiliate of the Championship Cup Series, a 6 region club level nationwide racing organization.   Providing he can maintain his lead in any one of his classes he’ll be headed to Daytona, Florida in October to compete in the Race of Champions where he’ll compete against some of the top amateur level road racers in the country.  Wish him luck!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shelburne Farms Door

Birdseye Woodshop made these beautiful entry doors from a downed oak tree at Shelburne Farms. Not only is there a certain romance about using the oak from the property, the sustainability of using a reclaimed local resource adds to the general philosophy of Shelburne Farms.

"We care about the sustainability and quality of life on earth. We care about young people having hope for the future. We believe that sustainability is grounded in individual awareness and action in our own communities."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yes, we can do traditional!

Greenwich, CT Renovation
Before & After

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Sea Wall

New Lake Champlain sea wall taking shape.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Unity Farm

Unity Farm rising! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What the...

Chelsie (Birdseye Metal & Glass)is my barometer for keeping it real. He is capable of standing in Lake Champlain,(gloveless!)and torching off an old steel piling to make way for a seawall we are installing, without hesitation!  He is like nobody I have ever met. His talents are endless and his attitude is positive. 
Real cultural Impact!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Process and culture come together where integrity exists. The depth of a project is reflected in this interplay. 

This is more than a granite is a relationship. Finding true meaning in architecture can start when you discover the forces behind the finished product. Real gratitude and reward can be achieved when there is this understanding.

The nature of inspirational architecture is a collection of synchronized relationships.