Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital

Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital - hero

Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital

Critical Access Above the Arctic Circle

Located 340 miles north of the Arctic Circle in an extremely harsh arctic climate, Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital is a new critical access hospital for the next generation of Alaskans. In partnership with a local firm, RIM Architects, we realized the vision of the native Inupiat People for this one-of-a-kind replacement hospital.


Developed as a 50-year building, it’s the first hospital in the U.S. built under the Title V new construction program which establishes a permanent self-determination program within Indian Health Services, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Key features of the replacement hospital include:

  • The facility is visually connected to the surrounding landscape and is situated to have minimal impact on the environment and traditional subsistence hunting.
  • Designed to respect and celebrate the Inupiat culture, it serves as the hub for health, education and social interaction within Barrow and the North Slope communities.
  • The local community recognizes the hospital as part of the cycle of life — birth to healing through death. The design reflects the culture and the environment, drawing from the landscape with its dynamic ice patterns, low light angles and the dancing colors of the Aurora Borealis.
  • The high-end design and the incorporation of evidence-based design principles support a spiritual atmosphere revolving around quality, family-centered care in a safe environment.
  • Samuel Simmonds Memorial is a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) facility. It significantly improves the scope of services in the area. Outpatient health services are consolidated in the building, and inpatient services include an eight-bed inpatient unit and a low-risk birthing unit.
Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital - hero
Arctic Slope Native Association

Barrow, AK
United States

103,000 SF (9,940 m²)