Middlebury College, Axinn Center at Starr Library and Biomass Facility

Middlebury, Vermont

  • FIRM

    CBT Architects


    Middlebury College

  • AREA

    91,000 sq.ft.





The Axinn Center at Starr Library at Middlebury College reinvents a beloved campus landmark, meets the need for additional classrooms and faculty offices, brings disparate departments together for increased interdisciplinary collaboration, and redefines the center of an expanding campus.

The project preserved ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$275.00CITATIONPost-Secondary CitationFEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio original 1927 neoclassical Starr Library and the 1957 Shepley Pavilion Reading Room, and added 50,000 square feet of new space. The program called for the historic reading rooms in the library to be restored and other existing spaces to be adapted as technologically "smart" classrooms and a 65-seat screening room. Two new symmetrical wings, designed to reference the style and character of the college’s vernacular, provide faculty offices for multiple departments, a 45-seat tiered classroom, two-story film production and editing studios, and a light-filled winter garden that overlooks a landscaped, south-facing courtyard.

The Axinn Center ties into the college’s central steam system to help Middlebury reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions to 8 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Additionally, the design team recently completed a biomass heat-generation component and renovation of the existing power plant. The biomass is a cogeneration system powered by wood chips—a local, renewable, carbon-neutral fuel. This will cut the college’s use of #6 fuel oil in half and put it close to achieving its initial carbon-reduction goal.

"A unique design that links existing buildings. This project provides maximum light and large spaces. Very well-done!"--2009 jury