Kachemak Selo School

Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Year Completed: Unbuilt
Total sf: 18,720
Client: Kenai Peninsula Borough

These images are from a capital acquisition proposal for a unique K-12 school facility for all public school students in the Kachemak Attendance Area.  A primary design challenge is the extreme isolation of the site. It is only accessible down an undeveloped, steep switchback path that is not passable by school buses or even standard equipmented cars. The Borough has explored the use of “non-traditional” transportation such as a track vehicle but these do not have the maneuverability to make the tight turns needed on the switchback. The village is along the Bay; it is accessible by small boats during high tide – when there is about 6’ of depth; at low tide extends several hundred yards to deep water, thus not allowing boats to dock.

Kachemak Selo is a small unincorporated community in Kenai Peninsula Borough. The village is located on the North West shore, at the head of Kachemak Bay, approximately 30 miles east of Homer along Swift Creek. The community developed as a Russian Old Believers settlement and currently has about 150 residents.

It was strongly felt that this school should reflect the unique location and community while avoiding an institutional feel.  The proposed natural materials and extensive glazing balance a warm and welcoming reception with a literally warm building envelope.