SUMMARY OF INFLUENCES AND RESPONSES THAT SHAPE THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT -

ECOLOGICAL INFLUENCES

• Moist, cool climate with lots of rain, fog, mist,

and snow.

• Temperate maritime climate.

• In California, hot climate with Mediterranean

influence and design responses similar to the

Southwest Province.

• Rugged terrain with many rock outcrops and

lava flows.

• Volcanoes, glaciers, and earthquakes that

are still shaping a young landscape with

sharp peaks and massive landforms.

• Prevailing winds from the west, with highs

from the northwest

and lows from the southwest.

• Lush, dense vegetation that

is green year-round.

• Forests that are largely coniferous and

contain the world’s largest and oldest trees.

• Water elements, including lakes, rivers,

fiords, and waterfalls, that are prevalent

and of a large scale.

• Much landscape that occupies

the edge between ocean and

land—a magnet for diversity of people

and wildlife.

• Declination of the sun that creates radical

angles of light.

• Long vistas with snow-capped volcanic peaks.

• Sunlight that has become important,

even revered, when it appears because of

prevalent gray skies and short winter days.

 

CULTURAL INFLUENCES

• Russian influence is seen in remaining forts

and onion-dome churches.

• Native influence is seen in such structures as

the long house, with few windows and planked

construction that sheds rain. Colors are red,

aqua, and black.

• Culture of totemic art is incorporated into

CCC-era buildings in Alaska.

• Asian influence is seen in low structures with

expressed post-and-beam structure and large

expanses of windows.

• Scandinavian influence is seen in log cabins and

decorated frame houses with cutout details in

shutters.

• Wood is lavishly used in buildings.

• Timber industry remains a powerful cultural

force and shaper of the landscape.

 

Figures of buildings reflecting the North Pacific culture:

·       Alaskan maritime

·       CCC-“Cascadian”

·       Native American long house

·       Northwest modernism

·       Scandinavian log

 

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