Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital


The new Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital was designed to facilitate preventative medical care and foster an ongoing medical relationship with the inhabitants of the North Slope communities. With local input, RIM created a design that is also a destination for the community, promotes quality care and “a place to heal”, supports the needs of the body, mind and spirit, embraces cultural sensitivities, supports family-centered care in a safe environment, provides an adaptable facility to respond to future needs, and supports efficient staff, patient and material flow.

The facility creates a sense of place by embracing its location and culture, supporting family-centered care, and is flexible to respond to current and future patient needs and staff workflow. The two-story structure was constructed on piles to address the arctic environment in this northernmost hospital in the United States. All cold-climate design principles were applied to the design and construction. Due to its remote location, careful planning and phasing of the construction was required. The architecture draws inspiration from the building’s surroundings, paying close attention to the unique characteristics of Barrow, far-northern daylighting and careful use of color.

Role: Architect
Consultant: HDR (Healthcare Architect)
Client Arctic Slope Native Corporation


  • 2014 Honor Award for Excellence in Design by AIA Alaska