MRV Architects was hired by Huna Corporation to provide conceptual site planning and detailed building design for comprehensive expansions to their visitor facilities at Icy Strait Point, just outside of Hoonah.
Construction was completed in 2016 for new facilities serving the Icy Strait Point development in Hoonah, a major cruise passenger destination which is owned and managed by Huna Totem Corporation, with offices in Hoonah and Juneau.
MRV Architects was responsible for the overall campus master plan, and architectural and engineering design of new buildings to serve this major expansion, keyed by a new berthing dock for large cruise ships. New buildings include the main “Adventure Hall”, with orientation space, exhibits, waiting areas for visitor departures, and a café. A partial second floor mezzanine includes administrative and management spaces.
Another key building element was reconstruction of an existing restaurant to substantially expand and improve the building as a waterfront hub. Other new building facilities included a ‘zip line’ building, adding a lounge, photo sales, and merchandising areas.
All building and site elements were carefully coordinated with the Huna Totem Board and with facility managers, to insure that this destination stop for cruise passengers was unique, and captured unspoiled Alaskan coastal wilderness. The design eliminates any visible modern elements, like vehicles, signage, and power poles. Instead, the site plan and building design focus on simple traditional forms, set within the forested waterfront setting.
The project represents a technical pairing of design elements from cultural heritage of Huna Totem, while also successfully meeting the significant logistical requirements of handling over 200,000 visitors seasonally. The Icy Strait development is the most important driver of the Hoonah economy, with extensive local employment opportunity, focus on local artistic production, and local tour operations. The McDowell Group performed the economic analysis of the project and expansion.
AWARD WINNING PROJECT
2020 Port of The Year – Seatrade Cruise Award