Bezek Durst Seiser (BDS) is proud to announce recognition by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Alaska Chapter, for the design of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Murie Building (Life Science Facility) and the Design of Access Alaska’s Anchorage Office in the 2013 Design Awards for Excellence in Architecture. Awards are given to projects that best exemplify excellence in northern design, sustainability, site/context sensitivity, and innovative design. The awards banquet took place at the AIA Alaska Annual State Conference on November 9th.
As one of four projects receiving recognition in this year’s competition, the UAF Murie Building (Life Sciences Facility) received the MERIT Award. This Award is presented to a project that tells a story of excellence beyond design, reflecting the variety of forces that shape a building. BDS architects designed the Life Sciences Facility, creating a modern, highly functional, energy efficient building that supports collaborative hands on learning and research in biosciences. The building integrates state-of the-art flexible teaching labs, research labs, and faculty offices, organized around central gathering spaces that foster interaction and allow the staff to be more accessible to the students they serve.
The award for “Best Presentation” went to the Access Alaska Anchorage Office Renovation. BDS redesigned the former Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center Facility, incorporating Universal Design techniques that created a rhythm of accessible office spaces in which people with and without disabilities can use equally. Connection between small meeting rooms, open conference “nooks” and socially central work areas within break rooms, allow users to control where and how they work. Each space is accessible through extra wide, concrete corridors and ultra light sliding doors, allowing ease of access for anyone regardless of their mobility. The building is now a perfect match for the non-profit, whose mission is to encourage and promote people who experience a disability to integrate into the community of their choice.