UAA Health Sciences Building

The design of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s $31M, 63,500 SF Health Sciences Building (HSB) features state-of-the-art medical academic labs, pedagogy-driven classroom configurations, and advanced distance learning technology. State-of-the-art simulation labs for clinical care, general hospitalization, and urgent care are designed to support integrated care instruction that brings together first year medical students, nurses and physician assistants.

Sustainable design practices were incorporated supporting UAA’s environmental stewardship policies. Design features include the prominent use of natural light, capture of majestic views, daylight filled stairs encouraging their use, and clerestories that capture light for interior spaces: all important amenities during Alaska’s long dark winters.

The architect simultaneously designed the HSB and the Precinct Master Plan: each task directly informing the other. The first building in the new Precinct, the University desired an iconic identifier to establish the evolving presence of the College of Health. The architects created a quadrangle to span Providence Drive and it was sized using dimensions from Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia. The HSB will become a physical and professional link connecting the UAA campus and Providence Hospital via a future pedestrian bridge.

The building’s skin is composed of metal panels, stone, and glass, and was chosen to respond to cold climate construction logistics, longevity and as a complement to existing campus architecture. A fenestration vocabulary was adopted to reveal the program spaces within by introducing daylight and views through various sized windows without compromising the uses within each space. Building massing was informed by the newly planned quadrangle.