|UAA Engineering Building|
Nearing completion in the U-Med district is the UAA School of Engineering building. Construction on it began last summer, but it is now that the project has really took to the air. Built across the street from the new nursing building, there is a proposal floating around to connect the two buildings with a skybridge hanging over Providence Drive. Additionally, because the new building sits on a former parking lot on campus, the university is planning construction of a parking garage across the street (another reason for said skybridge). As far as I can tell though, the world has not ended as some faculty and students had expected with the loss of so many parking spaces. This building is the latest in a series of projects that have made some U-Med lovers uncomfortable when it comes to the districts changing identity. In fact, one block from this site, construction of a new First National Bank branch has seen the clearing of a sizeable patch of woods.
|Alaska Airlines Center|
|building with no name|
Finally, there's this. It's no 188 WNL, JL Tower, or Centerpoint West. It's just a class A office building for lease. Gracing the building with a name was not a priority. It is a nice looking building though. It's located in an awkward spot along C Street but without access from C Street. So there are your urban contributions to the mishmash cityscape of Anchorage, Alaska for the summer of 2014. While it's great to see a small handful of medium to high density sites go up, it is also disheartening to see the pattern continue of buildings surrounded by parking lots and landscaping. Whether it's the new CIRI headquarters, or the building mentioned just above, a vision of the future with sustainability in mind is absent. In a city that is post Title 21 Rewrite, most developers can't shake off the Le Corbusier in them. For me, the most promising building is the UAA School of Engineering for it is built up against the street and has a bus stop at the foot of it (you can see it in the picture). It's also nice that the Alaska Airlines Center is across the street from People Mover's U-Med bus hub. As a result, six bus lines will be going to the arena.