Design Students Build Seven Modern Sheds in Rural Vermont

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By Kate Reggev
A chicken coop, a mobile sauna, and a sugar shack are just a few of the "rural interventions" built by architecture students in Norwich, Vermont, as part of a week-long design/build program.

VermontIn 2011, architects Keith Moskow, FAIA and Robert Linn, AIA of their eponymous, Boston–based architecture firm Moskow Linn Architects began leading Studio North, an intensive week-long design/build workshop for students interested in or studying architecture. The design brief? Work together to design and build a small pavilion in the rural, agrarian town of Norwich, Vermont.

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Pictured here are two of the students at work on the Chicken Chapel. "[The students] were great," Moskow says. "It'd be sunny in the morning then there'd be a rainstorm in the afternoon, but no one complained. It took really, really long days to finish it, but they were gung-ho to get it done and were very proud of it at the end."

Pictured here are two of the students at work on the Chicken Chapel. "[The students] were great," Moskow says. "It'd be sunny in the morning then there'd be a rainstorm in the afternoon, but no one complained. It took really, really long days to finish it, but they were gung-ho to get it done and were very proud of it at the end."

Each workshop, which includes five to 10 students from across the globe, are presented with a design program developed by Moskow and Linn; the students, working with two instructors, then spend their mornings designing and their afternoons constructing. The pavilion's program seeks to connect with site conditions and nature; this might be through activities unique to rural life—like a chicken coop, or a structure for making maple syrup where the timber walls are deconstructed during the sugaring season—or for places of respite and solace, like a mobile sauna or a woodland retreat.

The 2014 Consumable Sugar Shack

The 2014 Consumable Sugar Shack

Each pavilion is composed of a kit of parts that are readily available either on-site, like gathered timber, or items easily purchased at any local home improvement or hardware store, such as two-by framing, galvanized metal fasteners, and translucent fiberglass. The resulting structures typically cost between $7,000 and $10,000.

The 2011 Chicken Coop

The 2011 Chicken Coop

Although each rural intervention, as the architects call them, is intended to respond to the predetermined program and site requirements, the greater idea was to create an opportunity for students—who often have never worked hands-on at a construction site before embarking on their professional careers in architecture—to gain valuable experience and knowledge.

The 2016 Viewing Structure

The 2016 Viewing Structure

Indeed, although each pavilion can stand on its own and was developed by distinct teams each year, the site is in fact most powerful when understood as a collection of pavilions, each linked to its neighbors through a similar sense of materiality and consideration of site and yet distinct in program and design. 

Interested in participating? This year, Studio North is undergoing an exciting move to North Adams, Massachusetts, where the program will be rebranded as Studio North (Adams), and may even develop connections with MASS MoCA.

The 2011 Chicken Chapel

The 2011 Chicken Chapel

The 2012 Rolling Pig Pen

The 2012 Rolling Pig Pen

The 2013 Birch Pavilion 

The 2013 Birch Pavilion 

The 2014 Consumable Sugar Shack

The 2014 Consumable Sugar Shack

The 2010 Swamp Hut

The 2010 Swamp Hut


The 2015 Woodland Retreat

The 2015 Woodland Retreat

The 2016 Viewing Structure

The 2016 Viewing Structure

The 2017 Mobile Sauna

The 2017 Mobile Sauna

Studio North Participants 

Studio North 11 – Chicken Chapel
Thomas Adamietz
Danielle Baez
Evan Deutsch
Erwin Sukamato
Erik Barth
Keith Moskow FAIA 
Robert Linn AIA

Studio North 12 – Rolling Pig Pen
Eileen Vogl
Julia Haase
Kristina Frazier
Noah Harvey
Evam Timm
James Jarzyniecki
Keith Moskow FAIA
Robert Linn AIA 

Studio North 13 – Birch Pavilion
Ali Fizgerald
Jessica Maoyo 
Judith Emaus
Noah Harvey
Sunnie Diaz 
Keith Moskow FAIA 
Robert Linn AIA  
Erik Barth 

Studio North 14 – Consumable Sugar Shack
Laura Wu
Sarah Rutter
Emma Gill
Matthew Jefferies 
Ana Ayala Rivera
Isabel Brostella Sosa
Jonathan Fenton
Zhiyuan Wang 
Karen Peters 
Keith Moskow FAIA 
Robert Linn AIA 
Sarah Carlisle 
Samuel Kachmar

Studio North 15 – Woodland Retreat
Hanson Cheng
Christine Banister
Michael Glassman 
Sara Timberlake
Catherine Hick 
Olivia Hupy  
Lisa Wronski
Carolina Hasbun Elias
Kyle Neumann
Diane Itziar Appaix Castro
Keith Moskow FAIA 
Robert Linn
Samuel Kachmar
Dave Fenchel
Alison Kripke
Manuel Goldenberg

Studio North 16 – Viewing Structure
Douglas Gallucci 
Csilla Vamos  
Judy Wu 
Erin Darnauer
Sarah Watts  
Michael Riley 
Miaoxin Wang 
Christian Donato 
Claire Fitzgerald  
Ben Geitner
Keith Moskow FAIA 
Robert Linn 
Dave Fenchel 
Erik Barth  
Alison Kripke

Studio North 17 – Mobile Sauna
Aaron Teves
Ollie Santry 
Christel Lingen
Samuel Gochman 
Mandita Malhorta 
Eduard Cornew 
Bushra Aumir 
August Cosinuke 
Will Cole 
Olga Zakharova
Kristie Houghton
Keith Moskow FAIA
Robert Linn
Manuel Goldenberg
Kyle Neumann
Sarah Carlisle 
Katherine Signel