Launch Slideshow

Outbound inspection canopy

Warroad Land Port of Entry

Warroad Land Port of Entry

  • Outbound inspection canopy looking east

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    Outbound inspection canopy looking east

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    Paul Crosby

    Outbound inspection canopy looking east

  • Site in Minnesota, on the border of the United States and Canada

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    Site in Minnesota, on the border of the United States and Canada

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    Courtesy Julie Snow

    Site in Minnesota, on the border of the United States and Canada

  • The U.S. Land Port of Entry in Warrod, Minn., may receive LEED Silver certification for its green strategies, including setting the facility back within a wooded lot to block winter winds, capturing rainwater, and installing solar light tubes.

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    The U.S. Land Port of Entry in Warrod, Minn., may receive LEED Silver certification for its green strategies, including setting the facility back within a wooded lot to block winter winds, capturing rainwater, and installing solar light tubes.

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    Courtesy Julie Snow

    The U.S. Land Port of Entry in Warrod, Minn., may receive LEED Silver certification for its green strategies, including setting the facility back within a wooded lot to block winter winds, capturing rainwater, and installing solar light tubes.

  • The exterior cedar siding is finished in a black stain, while the underside of exterior canopies and the interior ceilings of public and office space are finished in a natural stain.

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    The exterior cedar siding is finished in a black stain, while the underside of exterior canopies and the interior ceilings of public and office space are finished in a natural stain.

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    Paul Crosby

    The exterior cedar siding is finished in a black stain, while the underside of exterior canopies and the interior ceilings of public and office space are finished in a natural stain.

  • Public and inspection areas are defined by natural stained cedar.

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    Public and inspection areas are defined by natural stained cedar.

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    Paul Crosby

    Public and inspection areas are defined by natural stained cedar.

  • Wall section integrates crash barrier, bullet resistance, solar shading and back ventilated wall cavity

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    Wall section integrates crash barrier, bullet resistance, solar shading and back ventilated wall cavity

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    Courtesy Julie Snow

    Wall section integrates crash barrier, bullet resistance, solar shading and back ventilated wall cavity

  • Public lobby and officer work area. All millwork is made from reclaimed cutoffs from the exterior siding.

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    Public lobby and officer work area. All millwork is made from reclaimed cutoffs from the exterior siding.

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    Paul Crosby

    Public lobby and officer work area. All millwork is made from reclaimed cutoffs from the exterior siding.

Julie Snow Architects • Border stations serve as both figurative and literal gateways, and this U.S. Land Port of Entry in Warroad, Minn., takes that charge to heart. The 40,000-square-foot facility supports the demands of securing the nation’s border and promoting legal trade and travel. The site design, in particular, manages a complex set of operational issues including the circulation of commercial trucks and passenger vehicles; technologically sophisticated vehicle inspection areas; and officer-training and work areas. Linking the port’s three buildings is a continuous canopy that shelters the outdoor vehicle inspection areas, while still maintaining access to views of the landscape. “It does feel open,” juror John Cary said.

Conceived as a response to the vast open landscape along this stretch of the U.S.-Canada border, the building form recalls the dominant horizon of the landscape while referencing the presence of the east-west borderline, an effect not lost on the jury. “The treatment of the landscape is very integrated into the building,” juror Scott Kilbourn noted. Inflected building forms facilitate an intuitive understanding and use by visitors. Likewise, shifts in the architectural envelope improve visibility of the site for armed officers and accommodate vehicular access to secondary and commercial inspection areas.

Sustainably harvested cedar siding encloses the entire facility—reinforcing the regional identity of the North Woods and contributing to the project team’s hope of attaining LEED Silver status. Vehicle inspection areas and public spaces feature expanses of glass and warm stained cedar siding. The black-stained exterior presents a strong contrast with the landscape and reinforces the threshold, while cedar lining the underside of the canopy creates a material warmth and richness in cold winter months.

Jurors acknowledged the design team’s success at overcoming the limitations of a challenging project type. “There are just so many different functions,” Kilbourn added. “It’s all vehicular and it’s got to be a welcome sign, a holding tank, an inspection center, and a garage. So it’s a very tough challenge. I think the unity of the expression helps this one.”


Project Credits

Warroad Land Port of Entry, Warroad, Minn.
Client GSA Public Building Service, Land Port of Entry Division—Dana Pionke-Garcia (project manager); GSA Office of Property Development, Region 5—Donald Melcher (project manger, programming through site investigation); Chenise Whitehead (contracting officer); Eduardo Libunao (contracting officer’s representative)
Architect Julie Snow Architects, Minneapolis, Minn.—Julie Snow (design principal); Connie Lindor (project manager); Matthew Kreilich (project designer); Tyson McElvain (project architect)
Landscape Architecture Coen + Partners
Civil Engineering Jacobs
Structural Engineering Meyer Borgman Johnson
Mechanical Engineering/Electrical Design Sebesta Blomberg
Fire Protection Consulting Futrell Fire Consultant & Design
Security Consulting Global Defense Solutions
Cost Estimating Faithful + Gould
Size 40,108 gross square feet
Cost $845 per square foot (including site work, escalation, and construction)
Photography Frank Ooms