E10-02 Yakutat Senior Center

E10-02 Yakutat



Yakutat, Alaska

Client - "Capture  the view of Monti Bay and the mountains beyond, bring us a flexible design, with low maintenance, and the lowest operating costs possible"                   

Waas'eita Shaa Hít - “House of Mt. St. Elias” Yakutat Community building is 6,150 square feet of very efficient space planning and will serve the widely varied needs of this remote community. The commercial kitchen, lounge, exercise and media room, surround the central dining and public activity room. The business areas include service and maintenance access, 2 offices (or possible exam rooms) and two apartments. The building is designed for future addition and additions of regional artifacts and artwork.  

The site is spectacular with sweeping north views, yet physically accessed directly from the center of the community. The building is orientated for views of Monti Bay and Mt. St. Elias from the dining hall and covered deck.


The extreme climate and construction costs demanded a design for significant snowfall and its removal. The sloped roof does not shed snow, it has high-friction architectural shingle roofing to retain snow, preventing hazards to pedestrian from sliding snow.   The structural design was upgraded to 175 lb. per sq. ft. ground snow load to handle the loads. This required steel columns, heavy beams and special trusses.

Siding is on rainscreen battens, with the addition of 2” of rigid foam insulation on the exterior of the sheathing between the battens for approximately R30 walls. White Azek PVC trim was used for low maintenance and durability. The building has an alternate for heating with wood fired boilers.

E10-02 Yakutat2



The client requested a building appearance reflecting the area's organic, indigenous colors and cultural architecture of the Tlingit and the northwest coastal region. Building design elements include post and beams, sloped roofs, shingle siding gable end walls and natural wood trim on the interior.



Copyright © 2018 Traho Architects (509) 452-0609. Serving: Alaska, Pacific Northwest and Central Washington.