Type of facility: Clinic
Client: Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage
Project Architects: NBBJ, Seattle
Construction manager: Nesser Construction, Anchorage
Completed: April 2002
Size: 55,000 gross square feet
Cost: $13.2 million
Cost per square foot: $241
The details are what it's all about -- so say the judges about the Anchorage (Alaska) Native Primary Care Center. With the use of large timber logs on the exterior -- which recall the Alaskan wilderness -- a brick facade emblazoned with Alaska Native stitching patterns, and the guardrails that incorporate other native designs, the clinic strongly represents the community it serves.
The clinic, connected to an existing building, goes beyond a traditional big-box design and adds two sweeping timber arcs overhead in the lobby, which turns the space into a loft. The design is a nod to Alaska Native traditions of community by having people waiting together in a large open space; the clinic did such a good job with this project that the lobby is often used as a main gathering spot for celebrations and social gatherings.
The bay windows, combined with the rich color of the timber, provide a feeling of warmth that provides a welcome contrast to the typical Alaskan climate, according to the judges. The windows also provide views of the mountains that border the clinic to the east and west.
"The interior and exterior fit with environment," contest judge Susan Nordstrom Lopez says. "I really like how it brought in the outdoor elements." Judges are also impressed that such detail came at a small price -- about $13.2 million -- and was completed in 2002 after two years.