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Anchorage Museum expansion
David Chipperfield Architects

January 04, 2010 /

Anchorage, Alaska, USA

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Photo © Christian Richters

The organisation of the new building is based on five linear volumes, of varying length and height, arranged along the western face of the existing building.

This arrangement does not only provide more space but also forms a new facade and entrance facing downtown Anchorage. The Museum and downtown Anchorage are now in a new relationship.

The glass facade of the four-story building is fritted with a striped mirror pattern, providing views out of and into the museum and reflecting the sky and surrounding mountainous environment. The painted external striped pattern starts to disguise the vertical and horizontal joints between the panels, introducing a geometry bigger than the panel system.


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Photo © Christian Richters

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Photo © Christian Richters

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Photo © Christian Richters

The interior design concept exposes the concrete structure as part of the character of the internal spaces. Walls are constructed between columns to establish a series of rooms within the new building. Visitor services are focused on the ground floor, with the staircase providing a view to the top of the building.

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Photo © Christian Richters

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Photo © Christian Richters

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Photo © Christian Richters

The main public spaces - the entrance lobby, circulation atrium, cafe, and exhibition spaces use different colors and materials to give each its own identity. Windows have been positioned in all non-exhibition spaces as well as some exhibition spaces.

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Photo © Christian Richters

anchorage_museum_expansion_9.jpgPhoto © Christian Richters

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anchorage_museum_expansion_11.jpgPhoto © Christian Richters

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The fourth floor gallery faces east with a spectacular mountain view. It is a natural place for events and receptions as well as a gallery. Light from this level goes down into the heart of the building.

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Photo © Christian Richters

From the beginning, it was clear that the two buildings should work together. The expansion is not just a new wing to be accessed through the original door. This expansion creates a profound change of orientation by opening to the community and the landscape. The challenge for this project was to do something new, and reasonably dramatic.

There is no point in anonymously continuing the aesthetic of the current building. Yet, when you come into the building, the visitor must experience the whole of the institution through the connected circulation. When you see the two plans together, you can see the geometry that links them, though externally they look very different.

The other challenge for any museum is to move beyond the closed box. Historically they have been solid volumes with the space organized around the displays. In order for museums to be a more enjoyable experience for the visitor, we have to bring in more light without compromising the environmental conditions for the collections.

/David Chipperfield

The Anchorage Museum Expansion will also house the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, exhibiting 600 Alaska Native ethnographic artefacts from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of American Indian. The Common created in front of the museum will provide a new public space for downtown Anchorage.


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Sketch © David Chipperfield Architects
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Drawing © David Chipperfield ArchitectsSite Plan
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Drawing © David Chipperfield ArchitectsGround Floor Plan
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Drawing © David Chipperfield Architects
Second Floor Plan 


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Drawing © David Chipperfield ArchitectsThird Floor anchorage_museum_expansion_19.jpg
Drawing © David Chipperfield ArchitectsFourth Floor and Roof Plan
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Drawing © David Chipperfield Architects
Longitudinal Section 


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Drawing © David Chipperfield Architects
Cross Section 



Facts about Anchorage Museum expansion

Gross floor area:

8,404 square meters

Architects: David Chipperfield Architects
Franz Borho
Pedro Castelo
Martin Ebert
Isabelle Heide
Victoria Jessen-Pike
Melissa Johnston
Christian Junge
Peter Kleine
Mattias Kunz
Marina Mitchell-Heggs
Andrew Philips
Billy Prendergast
Julian Sattler
Dominik Schwarzer
Rene Wolter

Architect of Record: Kumin Associates Inc.
Chip Banister
Daphne Brown
Mike Griffith
Marina Komkov,
Jon Kumin
Dana Nunn
Erica White
Ross Timm
Petra Wilm

Structural engineer:

Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Structural engineer of record:

BBFM Engineers Inc.

Services Engineer:

Affiliated Engineers NW Inc./RSA Engineering Inc.

Facade Consultant:

W.J.Higgins and Associates Inc.

Lighting Consultant:

George Sexton Associates

Landscape:

Charles Anderson Landscape Architects

Associate Landscape Architect:

Earthscape

General Contractor:

Alcan General Inc.

Client:

Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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