Vesterheim Commons Design Team


Vesterheim Commons Design Team

Vesterheim Commons is taking shape on Water Street in Decorah. With 7,600 square feet spread across three levels and almost an acre of surrounding landscaped patio, this building project physically links the past and the future, connects the museum collection to the Folk Art School, and enriches the Vesterheim visitor experience for those coming to Decorah or participating digitally through a new video and photography production studio.

All good projects start with proper planning, and Vesterheim Commons could not have progressed without the knowledge, creativity, and expertise of the architects, landscape architects, engineers, and consultants who gave a solid start and met every challenge along the way, exceeding expectations! As it nears completion, we are grateful for the partnerships that made these dreams take shape.

Read further to learn about the design team – Snøhetta, BNIM, MBJ, Morrissey, and McGough – who helped create Vesterheim Commons and the specific ways they connected to the project.

Help Us Grow Vesterheim

I am interested in (select all that apply)(Required)

Need Help Now?

If you want to speak to someone about how you can support Vesterheim’s bold new future, call Diane Wagner or Kim Toussaint.

Diane Wagner: 563-382-9681 x103

Kim Toussaint: 563-382-9681 x105

A Re-imagined, Open, and Accessible Heritage Park

The first major project of the Strong Roots | Bold Future campaign is the re-imagining of Heritage Park, the outdoor exhibit and program space for Vesterheim’s 12 historic buildings. Heritage Park opened in summer 2021. Guided by the Snøhetta master plan, Heritage Park has been designed by Damon Farber Landscape Architects to be an accessible and open public space reminiscent of Norway’s forests and glades. Here, people can connect with one another amidst tangible historic buildings set in nature.

Beginning at the plaza that depicts the 1825 voyage of immigrants on the ship Restauration, meandering pathways will guide visitors around gentle glades, past a community amphitheater, and through the expanded parkwhere history comes alive by experiencing how Norwegian pioneers lived.

Special care has been given to create an environmentally sensitive community park with native plantings and woodlands appropriate to this Driftless Area of America’s Midwest, permeable pavers, and sustainable stormwater management.