"THE DESIGN CONCEPT REFLECTS THE BROAD GEOGRAPHY OF THE LANDSCAPE SURROUNDING NUIQSUT."
Client: Pfeffer Development
Architects: KPB Architects
Contractor: Criterion General
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: RSA Engineering
Civil Engineer: EBSC Engineering
The concept for the building design represents the activities of the people living in the broad geography of Nuiqsut as well as the wildlife of the coastal plain surrounding the village. Nuiqsut is situated in the Coleville river delta on the North Slope of Alaska. The geography is coastal where there is clearly a wide foundation of tundra below a great expanse of sky each of which are separated by the clear line of the sea. The people, the village, the man made elements and the wildlife are vertical contrasts set against a backdrop of a horizontal canvas, (the land-sea-sky). The design inspiration for the exterior skin of the project draws on the broad geography of the landscape. The vertical elements of the building represent the harvest of the whale and the display of the baleen. The parking garage screen is a perforated metal. The perforations create a large scale pattern that is significant to the people of the region. As visitors arrive at and circulate through the building, they will experience details relating to Alaska Native culture. The elevator lobbies will graphically depict details of wildlife. Solid white panels wrapping the elevator core with depressed wildlife are an abstract interpretation of ivory carving. Each building level features a different animal that the people of Nuiqsut depend on for the subsistence way of life. The animals are assigned to a level based on their importance. The whale, is located on the 6th floor. The whale is the highest importance be cause it is shared throughout the community.