The energy center was completed in 2002, designed by kpb Architects, and funded by BP “to serve as a training, meeting, and conference center for nonprofits and education organizations throughout Alaska” while familiarizing Alaskans with the energy industry in our state. Good stuff, but I prefer the description on a panel in the building: “Created in 2002 as the place to dream up the next big idea.”
The building is set back from the highway in a parking lot surrounded by birch trees. As you walk along a curving path through the forest and cross a bridge you catch glimpses of a modern yet welcoming building. The metal and glass of the facade are tempered by warm wood panels, and rocks outline the footprint of the building.
I love the simple sculpture in the photo above, and the bright green glass was chosen to echo the color of newly emerging birch leaves. Inside the center the generously sized windows let natural light into the building and offer views of the trees surrounding the facility.
The second floor features a wall sized interactive screen that rotates through scenes of all four seasons. It is interactive and incredibly addictive to play with. My favorite was the autumn scene – you can kick and twirl and jump and the leaves scatter around you. It’s all orange and yellow and utterly joyful (plus, it’s a great way to work out the “I’ve been sitting and taking notes for three hours and need to make sure legs still work” feeling).
Thank you for creating such an amazing gift to our community, BP!