According the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA), “border station architecture is an emerging building type [that] did not exist until the early decades of the 20th century.” This century’s post-September 11th climate means more and more border stations are being built along the Canada and Mexico borders. This crossing in Minnesota designed by local Julie Snow Architects is a great example of the design excellence found in this specific building type. The architects answered some questions about their first border station.
View from HWY 313 Looking West toward Outbound Booth and Secondary Inspection Areas
What were the circumstances of receiving the commission for this project?
The project was received through an RFP and interview selection process under the U.S. General Service Administrations Design Excellence program.
Secondary Canopy and Main Entrance
How does the completed building compare to the project as designed? Were there any dramatic changes between the two and/or lessons learned during construction?
The design intent of the facility was maintained throughout the construction process. We worked closely with our cost estimator throughout the process to assure that the project stayed within the clients stated budget.
North Façade and Primary Inspection
How does the building relate to contemporary architectural trends, be it sustainability, technology, etc.?
The project is the first Land Port of Entry for the U.S. Government that utilizes ground source heat pumps to cool and heat the building. It is currently in line to receive a LEED Gold certification from the U.S.G.B.C. for its use of geothermal heating, recycled building material content, use of natural day lighting and sustainable landscape planning.
Are there any new/upcoming projects in your office that this building’s design and construction has influenced?
We are currently completing our second U.S. Land Port of Entry in Van Buren, Maine which has utilized lessons learned from our work on the LPOE in Warroad, MN. The projects are similar in scale and program.
E-Mail Interview conducted by John Hill