TMS Architects is proud to have two winners in the 2014 Emerging Professionals Design Competition which was announced by AIANH on January 10th. TMS ‘s project manager,Gillian Baresich, was awarded 1st Place for her entry which we covered in yesterday’s blog post and today’s post focuses on TMS Project Manager Tim Giguere’s 2nd Place winning entry.


The competition centered around designing a visitor’s center for Great Island Common in New Castle, NH.  The program envisioned the site as a gathering point for the town, reflect New Castle’s military history, and provide improved service elements and public amenities.  Tim explained that his design was “simplistic and an extension of the site, not a destination building but a structure to embrace what the site is…what  makes the Common so unique is its ability to accommodate a variety of uses so well.  From sun bathers to barbequing to playground users and the community’s annual 5K road race…on any given day, you will see these activities and more happening all over the site.”

The design compliments the site by creating interior spaces that can easily be expanded to the outdoors by the use of glass trombe walls and large operable openings and wall panels.   The  main building is designed as a ranch style with a single floor to mimic the immediate local municipal building’s vernacular as well as pay homage to the low-slung ranches of New Castle’s Camp Landgdon’s past and eliminate the need for elevators.

Versatility is the key to the space’s design with kiosk areas such as a bicycle repair station and bicycle supply vending machine easily be extended to form larger outdoor retail spaces.  Sustainability was a key element in the design challenge and Tim’s design incorporated a number of sustainable features.  The building utilizes natural cooling methods and the reception area is open in the summer months.  The glass walls and overhead doors on the south utilize solar gain and the stone interior wall acts as a a trombe wall to heat the space at night.

The jury commended this entry “for its very strong visual presentation with clever use of supporting images.  This is a comfortable and inviting building likely to be accepted by the community.  In addition, it is reflective of the region’s shingle style architecture.  It presents a comprehensive facilities design.”

Architectural elements such as these towers serve dual purposes by marking the start/finish line of the annual road race, provide cooling from the earth and tie the architecture of the building to elements throughout the site.  Lattice work found around the building also has multiple functions; as well as a decorative elements, the lattice work serves as a passive design element in the summer by blocking the sun’s rays.

For a full description of the design challenge, visit