Whitetail Woods Regional Park Camper Cabins

Architect: HGA

Location: Farmington, Minnesota

These simple, efficient cabins are intended to create extended experiences within the park and increase community engagement.

hga.com

The 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.

"Colors, materials, and textures reinforce the undisturbed natural habitat." – Jury comment

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.

Additional information

Principal-in-Charge: Jim Goblirsch, AIA, LEED AP

Project Lead Designer: Steven Dwyer, AIA, LEED AP

Project Manager: Erica Christenson, ASLA

Project Architects: Rob Good, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Structural Engineer: HGA (Tony Staeger, PE; Bryan Greger)

Landscape Architect: HGA (Ross Altheimer, ASLA, LEED AP; Travis Van Liere , ASLA)

Landscape Project Team: HGA (Erica Christenson, ASLA; Trygve Hansen, ASLA, LEED AP; Nissa Tupper, ASLA)

Mechanical Engineer: HGA (Leighton Deer, PE, LEED AP; Julie Hagstrom, CPD, LEED AP)

Electrical Engineer: HGA (Ben Gutierrez; Greg Aune)

Civil Engineer: HGA (Kenny Horns, PE, LEED AP; Bradley Roath, PE, LEED AP)

Lighting Design: HGA (Chysanthi Stockwell)

Jury

2016 AIA Housing Awards Jury

Jamie Blosser, AIA (Chair), Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ariella Cohen, Editor-in-Chief, Next City, Philadelphia

Kevin Harris, FAIA, Kevin Harris Architect, LLC, Baton Rouge

David Lee, FAIA, Stull and Lee, Inc., Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts

Suman Sorg, FAIA, Sorg & Associates, P.C., Washington, DC

Image credits

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Paul Crosby

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Paul Crosby

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Paul Crosby

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Paul Crosby

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Paul Crosby

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Paul Crosby