Tettegouche visitors center

Owner: MN Department of Natural Resources
Architect: Miller Dunwiddie 
Location: Silver Bay, MN
Size: 11,000 SF
Value: $7,462,000

Situated on a cliff on Lake Superior, the Tettegouche Visitors Center features a great room, multipurpose rooms, lakeside patio, picnic structure, outdoor amphitheater, interpretive displays, Wi-Fi, and a trail system inviting visitors out into the park. This project was a collaborative venture for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration.

Working 100’ from Lake Superior, weather conditions varied from sun to hail, fog, sleet, snow, and heavy winds. The weather challenge was significant due to the type of building construction that was involved. The building shell was a Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) design, with stringent specifications on moisture content. SIP panels are not designed to get wet, so a large amount of time and money was spent covering the roof area with tarps, poly, underlayment, and flashings during the month and a half of roof structure construction. Extensive moisture testing was conducted on the SIP panels to ensure moisture content did not exceed manufacturer and building code standards.

The primary structure was constructed to be energy efficient, utilizing a structurally insulated panel system featuring green technology. Work scope included site clearing, excavation, grading, concrete, bituminous paving, landscaping, installation of a new septic system, well improvements, and utility connections.