Vesterheim Commons Exterior Influences

Vesterheim Commons Exterior Inspiration

In this update, Vesterheim President/CEO Chris Johnson talks about the exterior design influences used in Vesterheim Commons, as well as a general overview of the outdoor space.

The concrete walls on the back of the building were suggested by Snøhetta designers and inspired by Erling Viksjø, who came to prominence in Norway after WWII as he experimented with designs in concrete and building structures. There are still many buildings in Norway inspired by his work. The fluted design in the Commons is a nod to Viksjø and Norway.

Watch the video to learn more about the patio space planned behind the building.

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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.