Downtown Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK

As the primary jumping off point for excursions to Denali and the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks is the hub for American and international tourism in Alaska’s interior. Also the home of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF), the city receives a variety of visitors at different times of the year.

Working in partnership with Bettisworth-North Architects, we developed the analysis and design components for a downtown wayfinding system that ties in with the Fairbanks Complete Streets initiative: integrating pedestrian elements, directing to primary destinations, highlighting public parking, and responding to recently implemented changes in one-way streets throughout downtown.

Outside of downtown, we direct to other destinations such as UAF, the main highway and airport, resulting in an interconnected system of wayfinding signage.

The design of the signage incorporates the look of indigenous materials, such as wood timbers and stone bases, but uses modern materials to withstand temperature ranges from -40º in the winter to 90º in the summer. 

Additionally, lighting needs change depending on the time of year: from four hours to 24 hours of sunlight per day. Snow removal, freeze/thaw cycles, year-round message visibility and maintenance of the information were also considered as we designed each sign type.