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Whitetail Woods Regional Park Camper Cabins

HGA Architects and Engineers


Dakota County, Minnesota

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Project Description

The Camper Cabins in the newly constructed Whitetail Woods Regional Park are a hallmark feature intended to create extended patron experiences within the park. The user’s brief discussed numerous options for cabins, including a tree-house. Early community engagement validated the proposed concept based on the idea of touching the earth lightly like a tree-house, but accessible to all. In the park, three camper cabins reimagine the classic tree-house as a “house in the trees” supported by a bath-house a short distance away. Constructed through a local high school construction trades program with supervision from county workers to minimize cost, the cabins are the first three of 20 to be constructed in the parks master plan. As they were planned, the cabins have become a key feature and a community highlight.

As a camper cabin, the structures are simple, efficient and perfectly aligned with the camping experience. The cabins have been designed to utilize the natural environment. Because each cabin is situated in the solar sheltered woods, mechanical cooling has been eliminated and each cabin uses natural ventilation to handle building comfort. Building heating has been minimized by improved insulation for the cabin.
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