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ALASKA STATE CAPITOL

In this project my partner and I proposed a capitol building for Alaska, the last state to not have an official capitol building. Our proposal sought to create a very transparent and interactive relationship between the citizens and the politicians through the architecture.

We redirected the main road around the building to give it a dominant presence in the city and to have a waterfront plaza.  We proposed a waterfront promenade that wove through and up into the building.  The promenade connects the existing cruise ship dock to the capitol grounds to encourage tourism.  Public transit runs along the promenade as well.

Upon entering, the user is immediately on the gallery level and can see into the legislative chambers.  Above each chamber are the supporting offices, and the executive branch connects the two masses as a bar in the back.  A central grand staircase carves its way up through the three branches and ends on the top level.  The top level is designed to function as a “public living room”; it is a large indoor public space where the locals are encouraged to relax and interact with the politicians.  It also offers stunning views of the channel and mountains around Juneau.  Instead of traditional manicured grounds, our site highlights the rugged nature of Alaska with a public park filled with pines and a lake for ice skating.