The City of Soldotna chose K+A as the architect for its recent library expansion. The existing 7,980 S.F. building was more than doubled to 17,850 S.F. housing bookstacks, meeting rooms, staff areas, multipurpose conference area, tutor rooms, and support spaces. This challenging project not only demanded design innovations to interface with the existing construction but was programmed, designed and had bid ready documents produced on an expedited schedule. The interior spaces are finished with warm earth tones, natural cherry woodwork, and include an accent fireplace seating area. The exterior is of very low maintenance materials echoing natural surroundings and the book spine image of knowledge held within the facility. The project came in with a bid of $4,465,000.
Kenai Bicentennial Visitor’s & Cultural Center
The Kenai Chamber of Commerce promoted development of a visitor’s and cultural center as part of Kenai, Alaska’s Bicentennial Celebration. K+A was called upon to develop a program, schematic design and marketing campaign to achieve this goal. In concert with the Chamber, K+A developed economic impact support information, assembled a grant package, submitted and successfully received a Federal Economic Development Grant. Additionally, the City of Kenai provided a like match to the grant and the project moved forward within budget and on time for the celebration.
More than just an Information Center, this 10,340 sf. year round facility houses a permanent collection of local historic artifacts, wildlife exhibits, a museum store, the Saturday Market and a variety of educational programs. One goal of the design committee was to provide open space that could be used by the local community for gatherings. The use of operable walls and a catering kitchen has allowed this goal to be realized. The chamber and other local groups host a variety of political meetings, fund raisers and social events at the center. The building includes high ceilings that are utilized to exhibit Alaska’s largest flying eagle exhibit and platform areas to display mountain wildlife.
K+A designed the building’s exterior to include natural Alaskan materials with sandblasted local area fish and native symbolism images at roof corners and entry columns. The project was successfully completed on time and with only 0.3% of construction costs in change orders. The exterior building roof lines were designed to echo Kenai’s surrounding mountain ranges. Exterior exhibit areas are incorporated to display historic area fishing boats. The center also serves as a starting point for a walking tour of old town Kenai.
Kenai River Center
The world famous Kenai River is known for abundant stocks of trophy class King Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Coho Salmon, Pink Salmon, Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden. Chartered sports fishing with record size fish and a well established commercial salmon fishery depend on this river for their livelihoods. In addition, Alaskan residents depend on this river for their personal use fishery. There is an ever growing demand for the fish resources and this places stress on the river system and accompanying tributaries. Habitat preservation is of critical importance and is assisted by multi-agency groups including the Federal Government, State, Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Kenai River Advisory Committee.
K+A was selected to orchestrate bringing these multiple agencies together within one facility to assist the public by providing one stop permitting, river bank restoration assistance, habitat preservation information, meeting space and an education center. This assignment required working with the participating government offices in reaching a consensus on how best to address each of their needs in one building.
K+A’s cornerstone approach to programming and design resulted in a 9,721 square foot facility that is at the leading edge of wild river preservation and a center where multiple agencies have access to one another as well as being readily accessible to the public. The center includes planning for future growth and a running river aquarium exhibit. K+A designed the center to blend into the surrounding environment with outdoor areas that host habitat fund-raising events and nature trails.