BDS transformed a previously dreary and outdated health clinic into a modern, open, and playful office space for a 20-year-old non-profit organization providing independent living services to people who experience a disability. When BDS considered in the design process for Access Alaska there were three key ideas that were considered: a modern, open office that fostered a more collaborative work environment, a space that reflects the company's mission, and finally to design the office as a showcase of Universal Design that could become a model for offices around the State of Alaska
The existing building contained many positive architectural characteristics including a trombe wall solarium and sky monitors, which provided natural daylight and heat to the space. BDS opened the trombe wall to take advantage of the natural light and create new spaces. The new staff break room balcony within the solarium, nicknamed "The Perch," overlooks the lower level and is one of the more popular gathering spaces.
Too often we see ADA additions or modifications to buildings that are sterile and hospital like, but BDS avoided this feel by effortlessly incorporating Universal Design techniques and recommendations into a cohesive, beautiful office space. Architectural elements that BDS integrated include extra wide corridors, sliding wood doors with no swing to hinder the movement of wheelchair users, durable birch wainscot, and a variety of sitting, standing, and adjustable furniture.
BDS created a stunning transformation from the client's vision to a built environment and a showplace for a collaborative and naturally integrated accessible design. It is a place for people to work, visit, and learn, as well as attract support, and recognition from the community. Featured in Alaska Public Media, Alaska Business Monthly, and KTVA, BDS is proud to have been part of the passionate design team and thrilled with the positive feedback from the community.
Photography by Mark Meyer Photography.
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