- Mbj:Structural Engineer
- Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Fire Protection:Stantec
- Noise Analysis:HZ United
- General Contractor:The Joseph Company
- Earthwork:Heselton Construction
- Concrete:Evenson Concrete Systems
- Metal Panel:MG McGrath
- Ceramic Tile :Twin City Tile and Marble Company-Rochester
- Storefront And Doors:Ford Metro, Inc.
- Custom Fritted Glass:Viracon
- Site Furniture:Wausau
- Play Equipment:Landscape Structures
- Landscape Contractor:Hoffman & McNamara Co.
- Prairie Plantings:Prairie Restorations
- Cost Estimating:CPMI
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. Located between the agricultural fields of southern Minnesota and the Straight River Valley along the I-35 corridor, the design team was initially struck by the transformative quality of the site. The site allows weary travelers the ability to stretch their legs and submerse themselves in a serene wooded river setting. The building, pavilions and site are structured to enhance one’s experience of this place.
Straight River Northbound Safety Rest Area is a complete replacement of an existing facility at the end of its useful life, along with a substantial expansion of truck parking capacity. The main building houses restrooms, vending and information, while two free-standing pavilions create quiet seating areas. Durability and low maintenance were client driven requirements due to a remote area and the heavy use facilities of this type need to endure.
The main rest area building plays with the duality and contrast of the large commercial and POV parking areas against the serene wooded site. As one approaches the facility from the parking area, large canted stainless-steel panels reflect the commercial trailers parked in the background while directing the visitor to a portal with direct views to the wooded river valley beyond.
Beyond the facility, a large elevated terrace offers panoramic views to the river valley. The terrace is wrapped in the same stainless-steel panels as the entry, though this time they reflect the surrounding site, immersing the visitor within the wooded river valley.
The new landscape is composed of native meadow plantings, short- and tall-grass prairies and low-mow fescue recreational areas. New walking paths connect from the parking lot to existing trails which wind their way deeper into the woods. In addition to the main building and pavilions, the project includes a playground, a pet exercise area and maintenance storage building.