Whitetail Woods Regional Park Camper Cabins / HGA Architects and Engineers

Whitetail Woods Regional Park Camper Cabins / HGA Architects and Engineers

© Paul Crosby Photography © Pete VonDeLinde © Paul Crosby Photography © Paul Crosby Photography + 16

Farmington, United States
  • Structural engineer

    HGA (Tony Staeger, PE and Bryan Greger)
  • Landscape architect

    Ross Altheimer, ASLA, LEED AP; Travis Van Liere, ASLA
  • Landscape project team

    Erica Christenson, ASLA; Trygve Hansen, ASLA, LEED AP; Nissa Tupper, ASLA
  • Mechanical engineer

    HGA (Leighton Deer, PE, LEED AP and 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)
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© Paul Crosby Photography
© Paul Crosby Photography

Text description provided by the architects. Nestled into the hillside of a new regional park within the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, three new camper cabins - built by county employees with the aid of high school students in a vocational training program - weave their way into a stand of pine trees. They serve as a key amenity in the first phase of the parks master plan.

Cabin Section
Cabin Section

Cabin Elevation 3 Cabin Elevation 1 Floor Plan Site Plan + 16

The concept for the cabins riffs on the idea of a treehouse, but instead makes it accessible to all by building a “house in the trees” entered from a bridge at the crest of the hill along adjacent ski and hiking trails.

© Paul Crosby Photography
© Paul Crosby Photography

At 227 square feet with an 80 square foot deck, the cabins provide ample square footage, electricity, lighting, heat and natural ventilation with framed views into the surrounding forest bringing modern comfort to the overnight outdoor adventurer. Two full-size bunks with built-in-storage, dining and sitting areas provide optimized cabin accommodations for four individuals while sleeper sofa and additional folding seating, hidden via built-in-storage, can comfortably accommodate six. The cabins are supported by a bathhouse farther up the hill. 

© Paul Crosby Photography
© Paul Crosby Photography

Built on concrete piers to minimize the impact on the surrounding wilderness, the cabins hover between 14 and 16 feet above grade with trees almost at arms-reach, creating privacy and intimacy with the natural environment. Above the concrete pier foundation the structure is comprised of a red cedar glulam chassis, cedar and pine framing depending on visibility and exposure, and red cedar cladding throughout.

© Pete VonDeLinde
© Pete VonDeLinde

Dark cedar shingles on the exterior blend seamlessly with the beauty of the pine forest, in which it is situated while the interior is stained naturally to create an immersive warm environment. Floor-to-ceiling glass at the deck frames the forest, creating a focal centerpiece from the interior.

© Pete VonDeLinde
© Pete VonDeLinde

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Project location

Address: Whitetail Woods Regional Park, 17100 Station Trail, Farmington, MN 55024, United States

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Whitetail Woods Regional Park Camper Cabins / HGA Architects and Engineers" 12 Mar 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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