Land Planning Projects

I-35 Interchange Study
Sandstone, Minnesota

The route between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Duluth on Interstate 35 is a gradual transition from the metropolitan area to the north woods and a cross-section through the major ecological biomes of the Midwest, from prairie and oak savannah through deciduous forest and bog to the vast coniferous forest of northeast Minnesota.  Ninety minutes north of the Twin Cities, sits Sandstone, Minnesota - a historic quarry town built along the gorge of the Kettle River in Banning State Park.  The study explored several alternatives with a concept recommendation resulting from community workshops  for the long-term development of the I-35 interchange which will preserve the historic and natural identity of the historic town while promoting the sustainable growth of recreational tourism and other industry.

Lake Elmo Village Scale Housing Study
Lake Elmo, Minnesota

The historic Old Village of downtown Lake Elmo is surrounded by a ring of working farms, reflecting a legacy of open space and an agricultural heritage that residents wish to preserve despite population growth in the entire region.  Thorbeck Architects teamed with experts in soil hydrology and real estate valuation to develop comprehensive growth plans that would accommodate new village-scale housing units in walking neighborhoods, while establishing innovative stormwater and wastewater wetlands to simultaneously solve practical utility issues and provide additional greenspace.   Through a series of public meetings, the concept was refined to include new civic facilities and senior housing, clustered housing at existing neighborhood densities, a network of open spaces connected by public greenways, and a buffer of working agricultural land.

Kucera backyard photo

Glen Toro
Mendota Heights, Minnesota

Glen Toro is a unique, environmentally-sensitive housing development by Thor Company with nine single-family home sites that preserve the heritage and natural environmental quality of the 10-acre site and its relationship with the Dodge Nature Center Lilly Preserve and the Shepard Estate.  The site consists of three landscape characteristics - prairie, wetland, and woodland - and each individual designed house and site design will reflect its location and landscape character.  To date five homes have been constructed.

Glen Toro website

Swanson Residence front photo

Historic Barn Study
Milton Hershey School
Hershey, PA

Seventeen historic barns on the campus of the Milton Hershey School, including a series of stone and large timber bank barns from the 1860s-1890s, were studied for adaptive reuse and/or relocation.  Each structure was assessed to determine historic and architectural value, and recommendations for rehabilitation, relocation, and reuse were made, to help meet the school's current functional needs while preserving the outstanding architectural legacy of the area.