The Miller Hull Partnership’s design of the Point Roberts Border Station is contextual with its surroundings, contemporary in its expression, and welcoming in its message.1998 GSA Design Award jury comment
Point Roberts is the westernmost U.S. Port of Entry along the 49th parallel which plays an important role in the exchange of goods between the United States and Canada. It was the first station along the Canadian Border to be commissioned under the U.S. General Services Administration Design Excellence Program, promoting top-quality design for Federal buildings to convey appropriate public architectural character.
The scope included replacing the main port house, expanding primary and secondary inspection areas, and adding staff and visitor parking along with a small workshop/storage building. Project challenges included keeping the facility fully operational during construction, coordinating U.S. tenant agencies, federal, state, and local authorities and their Canadian counterparts, and completing the project in metric rather than imperial units.
The design concept for the facility focused on marking the international boundary by integrating an appropriately scaled and elegantly detailed building with the naturally forested setting. As a meeting point between two nations, U.S. Border Stations should celebrate the act of crossing an international boundary. Structured as a bridge-like gateway, the dramatic entry canopy extending over the primary inspection booths was inspired by the masts and sails of the boats in the water surrounding Point Roberts.