Meet 5 Under 40 Winner Erika Dodge
August 22, 2022
Text by Paula M. Bodah
Have you bought your tickets for New England Home’s “5 Under 40” celebration on September 15, 2022? We’re counting down the days and are excited for you to get to know this year’s honorees. Today we introduce Erika Dodge.
It would be an under-statement to say Erika L. Dodge knew from an early age that she was destined to be an architect. “I was about five and my family was looking to move,” she recalls. “I just loved looking at houses, and started developing that architectural vocabulary, talking about capes and colonials.” In grade school, she asked her parents for architectural drafting software.“I still have the CD ROM,” she says. And in high school, she took her first architectural drafting class. “We were supposed to pick a house out of a plan book and practice drafting,” she recalls. “I picked one then redesigned it and put an addition on.”
After earning a Master of Architecture degree from Boston’s Wentworth Institute of Technology, she headed west to California and the Lake Tahoe area to fulfill a childhood dream of designing houses in ski country.
Eventually, she and her husband, both New Hampshire natives, decided to settle in New England. They moved to Vermont, and Dodge took a job with the Burlington firm TruexCullins. Two years later, pregnant with her first child, she decided it was time to open her own business, ELD Architecture. “I thought, if I’m going to do this, I should do it before I have the baby,” she says.
Her first client came through her husband, a builder and cabinetmaker, but word of mouth quickly began to bring in more work. “I’m in hiring mode now,” she says. “I’m fielding potential candidates, and I’ll be growing.”
Dodge gravitates to simple forms, focusing on interesting materials and playing with light and views. “I try to create these moments where you step into a space and see a vignette of a mountain or a lake,” she says. “I’m lucky that so many of my projects have stunning views.”
Mountains both east and west are the focus of Dodge’s graphic black-and-white rug. “I took two: Mount Mansfield in Vermont and the Palisades ridgeline in Olympic Valley in Lake Tahoe,” she explains. “They’re two prominent mountain ridges in my life.” The cut and loop of her rug plays off both the topography and the profiles of the peaks, she says, resulting in an abstract, evocative design that would suit both traditional and contemporary settings.
The “5 Under 40” celebration is open to the public. Join us by purchasing your tickets here.