Peace Arch Port of Entry

client: general services administration

size: 18.8 acres total, 9.2 acres landscaped design

location: blaine, washington

duration: 2003–2010

construction cost: $44,061,190

certifications: leed gold

awards: 2013 civic design award, merit award, aia, wa council; 2007 honor award in architecture on-the-boards new construction, us general services administration design excellence program

Peace Arch Port of Entry is a slender, rolling site bisected by a ribbon of building that creates an iconic border crossing symbolizing the peaceful relationship between the United States and Canada. Fundamentally a landscape strategy, the Port of Entry is steeped in coastal agrarian and historic park landscape traditions.

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Located on the Strait of Georgia’s shores, the historic Peace Arch monument marks the border while the International Peace Arch Park remains the physical and symbolic center of the border composition with the business of customs and immigration occurring at its edges to the north and south.

Defined by the surrounding agrarian landscape, Semiahmoo Bay, and the historic park, the Port of Entry’s organizational strategy is a landscape solution with the building, inspection areas, and roadways inserted into the rolling topography and historic park. The site plan’s landforms, extensive living roof, and restored park and wetlands, fully integrates 18 acres of complex activities into the shoreline and upland agrarian landscape within the context of post-9/11 security.

The design’s sweeping grasslands and northwest lowland forests received the Honor Award in Architecture for On-the-Boards New Construction from the US General Services Administration with specific acknowledgement of the exceptionally compelling integration of program, building, and site reflecting strong design collaboration.

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