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Anchorage to receive new glacier-inspired office building

Office Buildings

Anchorage to receive new glacier-inspired office building

Perkins&Will is designing the building.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | January 19, 2021
601 W 5th Avenue exterior

All renderings courtesy Perkins&Will

Downtown Anchorage’s former Key Bank Plaza Building will be modernized and expanded into a sleek, glacier-inspired office building, courtesy of Perkins&Will. 

The nine-story building was originally built in 1972 at 601 W 5th Avenue. The building required extensive structural repairs as a result of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in November 2018 and, as such, will receive much-needed seismic reinforcements as part of the redesign. On the interior, all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems will be replaced, a new stair tower will be built, and modern elevators and a freight elevator will be installed.


601 W 5th Avenue rendering


The exterior is also set to undergo substantial work that pays homage to Alaska’s natural wonders. This includes a 40,000-sf sloped facade that reconfigures the building to resemble a glacier, replacing the precast concrete cladding with floor-to-ceiling windows.


601 W 5th Avenue entrance


To account for dark, snowy winters, radiant heating, six new skylights, and drought-tolerant native plants have been incorporated into the project’s master plan. Due to the site’s potential for substantial pedestrian activity, onsite landscape and hardscape improvements have become a top priority for the design team.

The building’s owners hope the project will reinvigorate Anchorage’s downtown area, which has not seen any new construction for the past 10 years. The $30 million-project is slated for completion in 2022.

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