Alaska Native Heritage Center

Anchorage, AK

This facility on private land in Northeast Anchorage was created for all the Indigenous Cultures of Alaska to share and celebrate their rich heritage - a building that would be respectful yet showcase the diverse cultures.  Collaborative visioning sessions with native Elders resulted in multi-use facilities that blend with interpretive exhibits, and provide a rich experience for the Alaskan Natives and their visitors who number 135,000 per year. 

As an introductory film ends in the 103-seat Theater, a wall slides away, exposing the panorama of the five cultural galleries, each representing one of the primary indigenous groups and providing interpretive exhibits and a working studio for artisans of each culture.  A large open, circular Gathering Place for 440 guests offers performances and a rural travel information kiosk.  In summer months, studios expand their function outside, creating a natural transition to the outdoor exhibits.  There, in a village circle, are five traditional village exhibits and a talking circle, where Native games are demonstrated on the trail that circles the two acre lake.  MCH provided full-scope acoustical design and AV planning.

  • 26,000 sf

  • 103-seat theater

  • $15M total cost

Architect: RIM Architects
Completion: 1999