Fairbanks Imaging Center

Located in one of the coldest cities in the United States, the 55,000 square-foot, $16.5 million Fairbanks Imaging Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, stands out with its ample glazing that floods the interior with natural light.

Project architect Martha Hanlon, head of Martha Hanlon Architects in Fairbanks, says the city that has an average annual temperature of just 26.9 degrees features many near windowless buildings.

“If you look around Fairbanks at buildings from the late 1960s, certain architects are using almost no glass,” Hanlon says. “Today, people understand that the connection to the exterior is more important.”

The whole east face of the building is an insulating glass curtain wall that brings natural light to the lobby, patient waiting areas and staff spaces, she says.

“The organizing idea of the facility is to layer and group patient spaces to require the fewest steps from waiting areas through dressing rooms and into the scan rooms for each radiology modality. The layering scheme puts the radiology exam spaces, which are typically dimmed, to the interior of the plan and patient waiting and staff spaces at the edges, maximizing access to daylight. The glass face at the east elevation brings daylight to each patient waiting area on the first and second floors,” Hanlon says.

The curtain wall features the Vistawall Reliance TC thermally broken frame system from Vistawall Architectural Products of Terrell, Texas. The glass consists of 1-inch insulating units from PPG Industries of Pittsburgh with the Solarban 60 low-emissivity film on the No. 3. The outboard lite also features PPG’s Cariba blue/green tint.

Bucher Glass of Fairbanks did the installation, and Ghemm Co., also of Fairbanks, served as the general contractor.
Fairbanks Imaging Center is part of the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation.