Descending from the International Bridge as it arches over the St. Mary’s River into the United States, two unique aspects of this port of entry stand out – the facility’s faceted vegetative roof and the curved canopy over the booths. In the evening, the canopy glows with light, becoming a luminescent gateway.
Conceptually, the bridge/lobby extends through the main building and is developed as a glass-enclosed employee lounge on the west. The middle floor includes space for secure storage and, at the south end of the building, four bays for secondary truck inspection. The lowest level is largely set aside for covered parking, a necessity given the snowy, windy climate and small site.
The building became a hallmark for environmental strategies across the Port of Entry portfolio; integrating an extensive green roof that could minimize storm water runoff, extensive daylighting, and a carefully crafted air supply system that leveraged split level functions to increase efficiency and minimize ductwork.
Native stone and copper siding recall the rich natural resources of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which at one time included copper mines. The end result is a building that feels one with the landscape in both form and materiality, connection two nations together.