Alaska Psychiatric Institute

"The building steps down to a single story to provide an appropriate human scale."



Client: State of Alaska

Architect of Record: KPB Architects

Partner Architect: HOK

Contractor: Neeser Construction

Landscape: Land Design North

Civil Engineer: DOWL Engineers

Structural Engineer: Engineering and Development Services

Mechanical Engineer: RSA Engineering

Electrical Engineer: RSA Engineering


Lauded by Frank Murkowski, the former Governor of the State of Alaska, as “the most innovative facility of its type in the United States”, the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) in Anchorage is both an aesthetically pleasing and cost-efficient building that plays down the institutional to achieve a more upscale and expansive mental health treatment facility.

The lobby height and orientation open into the winter garden, which is the center around which all programmed space is organized.  This strategically located area enables staff to effectively monitor the facility while patients benefit from the therapeutic atmosphere of communal interaction and the daylighting feature at the interior of the building produced by multiple windows.  The main pedestrian thoroughfare, known to the residents as “Main Street”, links patient support services to patient units, and provides access to common rehabilitation and recreational spaces.  The flexible design allows for the 72-bed capacity to be expanded by eight beds. A design build project produced by KPB Architects, HOK’s San Francisco office and Neeser Construction, this project won the 2006 Rock Award for most innovative use of National Gypsum specialty products.