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Shelburne VT


Shelburne Museum


New Construction


In Progress



In Partnership with Annum Architects, Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture

The Perry Centre for Native American Art at the Shelburne Museum of Vermont is conceived from a partnership between Two Row Architect (Prime Consultant), Annum Architects, and Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture. The building’s form and materiality are inspired by its place, and by the “forms that came before,” the elongated wigwams of the Abenaki.


Through consultation with museum curators and members of the Abenaki community, the need for a space to celebrate food, water, and landscape was identified. Additional principal drivers included opportunities to highlight the history of the Abenaki people, respectfully house and display the cultural objects in the collection, engage with all senses, and create a welcoming gathering space capable of hosting gatherings and ceremony.


The building’s curved form is clad in cedar shingles and touches lightly on the land. The edge-condition of the exterior-shingles are lifted from grade to create a continuous separation between the entire perimeter and the earth below. In plan, this building revolves around a central node – an orientation space – from which the museum’s three main galleries radiate. Each gallery is carved out by reference to the summer and winter solstice, aligning the main gathering space to the summer sunrise and acknowledging rebirth, spring, and our connection to the earth. The space carved out between the galleries is reminiscent of the graceful form of a deer antler, simultaneously on the building’s exterior, the curved shingling reflects the age-old bark-clad homes of the Abenaki people.


Primary design features include a celebratory gathering space embedded in the landscape, an indoor gathering space which looks out to the landscape, a housing area accessible to visitors to view and interact with objects (when possible), an exposed mass timber structure which creates a womb-like experience within the galleries, and the integration of sensorial experiences into various points in the museum circuit.

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