Silverwood Park Visitors Center
Inspired by Nature
When the Three Rivers Park District asked Miller Dunwiddie to redevelop a former Salvation Army camp on the shores of Silver Lake in Columbia Heights, we knew this would become a deeply meaningful place. It was essential to design a park that could serve many purposes and equally important to preserve the natural features of this rare pocket of minimally developed land. The trees, lake, and rolling landscape helped guide us as we designed the Silverwood Visitor Center and its art-themed surroundings.
Environmental stewardship was a top priority. We utilized green technologies and design principles in accordance with Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide Requirements (B3), including geothermal heating and cooling, daylighting and sun control elements, and an innovative rainwater reclaimation system. We preserved four original camp structures and integrated lumber and millwork from site harvested trees into the new center. The building interacts completely with the lake and woods to encourage exploration of the park in all seasons. Art features along the trails complement a gallery inside. With flexible education spaces, a gallery with a feature fireplace, concession area, and banquet hall, this gracious building welcomes everyday visitors and special events. Memories are made here every day. We are incredibly proud to have played a role in its creation.