About Real Cedar
Architect: Snow Kreilich Architects, Inc.
Location: Warroad, Minnesota
Photography: Paul Crosby & Frank Ooms
“Warm and welcoming.” These are not words most people associate with a border crossing. But most people don’t head stateside via the US Land Port of Entry in Warroad, Minnesota (unless, of course, they live in Sprague, Manitoba).
What sets this particular government building apart is all the beautiful use of wood. The siding, exterior soffits, and screen walls, for example, are clad in clear, vertical grain, Western Red Cedar. As well, the ceiling in the main lobby and work area are paneled in Western Red Cedar. According to the project’s architect Matthew Kreilich, the reasons for using nature’s most versatile material were numerous.
“We could shape the material into a functional rain screen for a high-performance wall system, while serving the tenants request that the building feel warm and comfortable,” he says. “And the local labor force was also familiar with working with wood and able to construct and maintain the remote facility quite easily.”
The wood also does a great job of reflecting the outdoorsy, cabin culture of the area. But as Kreilich explains, not just any wood would do for this project – only Western Red Cedar could fill such a tall order.
“Wood was our first choice,” says the award-winning architect, adding, “But other species and cuts did not allow us to create such a clean and maintainable facility for the government.”