Expanded Anchorage Museum opens

by Caroline Wilkinson | 01 Jun 2009

The US$106m (£64m, 74.4m euro) expansion of the 170,000sq ft (15,793sq m) Anchorage Museum at the Rasmuson Center in Alaska has opened its doors to the public.

The revamp, designed by London-based David Chipperfield Architects, incorporated a new glass-fronted façade and entrance facing downtown Anchorage. Among the features of the new building are a café, shop and two extra floors (80,000sq ft, 7,432sq m) of exhibition space. A venue at the heart of the existing building was retained to continue providing a space for arts, music and cultural events, but there has also been the addition of a science discovery centre, a Young Learners Discovery Gallery - geared towards children up to five years old - with touchable objects and hands-on learning opportunities.

The museum also houses a new 530sq ft planetarium and the 100,000sq ft (9,290sq m) Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, exhibiting 600 Native Alaskan artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of the American Indian. A new common created in front of the museum provides a public space for downtown Anchorage and features outdoor areas for sculptures and temporary exhibits, a winter ice rink and an interpretative trail with information about native plants and grasses.

The Kresge Foundation's Green Building Initiative grant will allow the museum to consider ways to make the museum addition environmentally friendly. The rest of the funding came from independent investors. The design team consists of Charles Anderson Landscape Architecture and Earthscape and exhibition designers New York-based Ralph Appelbaum Associates and Ansel Associates. Alaska-based contractor Alcan General carried out the construction work.

Photograph credit: Anchorage Museum of History and Art

The US$106m (£64m, 74.4m euro) expansion of the 170,000sq ft (15,793sq m) Anchorage Museum at the Rasmuson Center in Alaska has opened its doors to the public. The revamp, designed by London-based David Chipperfield Architects, incorporated a new glass-fronted façade and entrance facing downtown Anchorage. Among the features of the new building are a café, shop and two extra floors (80,000sq ft, 7,432sq m) of exhibition space. A venue at
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Expanded Anchorage Museum opens
The US$106m (£64m, 74.4m euro) expansion of the 170,000sq ft (15,793sq m) Anchorage Museum at the Rasmuson Center in Alaska has opened its doors to the public.