SUMMARY OF INFLUENCES AND RESPONSES THAT SHAPE THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT -
• Moist, cool climate with lots of rain, fog, mist,
• Temperate maritime climate.
• In California, hot climate with Mediterranean
influence and design responses similar to the
• Rugged terrain with many rock outcrops and
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• 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
· Native American long house
· Northwest modernism
· Scandinavian log