architecture the ralph m parsons company northwest pipeline village
Prudhoe Bay, Alaska - 1981
Lead Design Architect, Ralph M Parsons Company

the project :
To complete an on-site analysis of existing modular facilities in Dead Horse, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, 400 hundred miles above the Arctic Circle.
To analyze available existing arctic modular building systems and products.
To design a new, completely self-contained, permanent, modular community for approximately 400 gas plant operators.
To work with RMP engineers to lay out a natural gas plant facility.
To design a temporary worker's village for the constructors of the project.


the model:
This model of the central village core was constructed to demonstrate how the open spaces worked together to create a community space
that would meet psychological needs of the inhabitants.

model by d holmes chamberlin jr and crew

the design:
Because of the severity and fragility of the project area, the modular units for this miniature city must be constructed in the lower 48 states
and shipped, completely furnished, by barge, to the project site in Prudhoe Bay. (following drawings by d holmes chamberlin jr except as noted)

(drawing by d holmes chamberlin jr)

The modular units, approx. 150 feet long, 40 feet wide, and two to three stories in height, must be moved into place by huge, custom built, tractor
units that place them one story above the permafrost on specially designed pylons which are mechanically cooled to keep the heat from the living units
from transferring to the frozen permafrost.

(drawing by d holmes chamberlin jr)

Special attention went into the psychological aspects of color and space in this isolated habitat where some workers
have a tendency toward withdrawl and depression.

(sketch by d holmes chamberlin jr)

(rendering by RMP illustrator)

Several units were combined to form a large open two-story courtyard in the center of the complex designed as a garden dining area and focal point
through which all workers must pass to enter or leave the structure.

Other elements of the community included offices, a medical clinic, a theatre, a large kitchen, a gymnasium, an indoor running track,
and various game and exercise rooms.

the architect at 19 degrees F

copyright d. holmes chamberlin jr architect llc
page last revised april 2015