Fairbanks Memorial Hospital

Fairbanks, AK
Community-Minded Design

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Surgery Center showcases Knot’s designers’ technical expertise and seamless integration with the architectural team.


The dedication of the Fairbanks community to build and sustain a world-class hospital inspired Knot designers to create an artful expression in response to a complex program. Knot quickly recognized Fairbanks Memorial Hospital’s rich history and its crucial role in the community. The hospital was devastated 50 years ago by a flood, spurring the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation to rebuild this essential institution. The community owned hospital re-opened in 1972 several years after the flood. Community members, the City of Fairbanks and state and federal agencies stepped up with the project’s necessary financial support. Because of this broad-based support, the hospital uniquely focused on serving the interests and needs of Fairbanks’ citizens.


Knot’s placemaking and wayfinding program involved coordination not only with the local architect for the Surgery Center, but also a Portland-based medical planning team. Knot’s team met with stakeholders face to face in the Fairbanks community, and regularly spent time on site throughout the entire project.


With the Alaskan aurora borealis as their inspiration, designers with Knot chose unique colors, lighting and forms. Knot’s designs required careful coordination with architects and hospital officials on unique structural and electrical requirements. Signs and graphics were fabricated by a sign contractor in Portland, who ensured competitively priced signage and close coordination on design execution throughout the construction process. The donor recognition wall is an important reminder of the milestones for the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, and its legacy of community focus and overcoming great challenges.

90,000 sq ft
Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation
ZGF Architects & Bettisworth North
Photography Credits: Kevin G. Smith Photography