Tag Archives: alaska design forum

in memoriam jim loftus

Tonight I know that i will leave

The fight is done

And slowly as i say goodbye

I need to speak

And say my love for close-knit friends.

Support, support was what they gave

They made me live.

To die, not old, cocooned in love

Transferring through a point in time

To somewhere else

A gift we have no right to ask

And its mine.

My brainwaves span the cool night air

And tap goodbye to friends unseen.

Will they go on and span in time

My after life

I’d like to know.


an engineer imagines – peter rice 1992


i got the sad news right after i checked my messages following my second week of teaching.  after initial disbelief, i was overcome with a warm feeling and tried to remember why this news touched me so deeply. the first time i met jim was for a project meeting for a native student dorm and learning center for alaska pacific university in anchorage. that must have been around 1999 and i was tasked with working out the details for some skylights and bridge structures within the building. i remember being deeply impressed by jim’s quiet and gentle way to guide us to a solution that would work with the goals set out for the particular spaces. the entire architectural team was positive surprised to have found a structural engineer that we could work with in partnership and someone who was willing to advance our vision with us. these project meetings would always end up being a well cherished regular all day event with many times adjusting his return flight to fairbanks to accommodate our progress. ( i am sure eileen can attest to that…..)

i don’t really remember if i gave jim my book about peter rice, an engineer imagines after the project ended, but i think the story of this irish visionary, that had passed away by cancer all too soon, cemented our bond and became our foundation for the work that followed.  we enlisted jim’s expertise and services for some of our best work. we shared a common belief in that how we construct our build environment, our values and aspirations for future generations are exposed.  many times we would compare notes after the alaska design forum lecture guests had long left the stage and nurtured our faith in what at times seemed impossible in our daily pursuits. i am particular fond of two projects that we worked on together. our first residential commission as a young firm, features so many fine details that bare jim’s influence, in particular i remember some arm wrestling about the smallest stainless steel column size that we could get away with for the support of one of the house corners.  the other project is the “house for a musher” where jim gave us the option of resolving all the lateral loads in two concrete pillars set back to have an unobstructed view of mount mc kinley. an excellent example of jim’s thinking, where with modest ways and without drawing attention to it  you can resolve all the forces beautifully.

we will all greatly miss jim. our condolences to eileen and family.

ç by dave lauridsen

© by dave lauridsen



XX ADF – 20 years alaska design forum

australian architect glenn murcutt visits point hope   © klaus mayer

australian architect glenn murcutt visits point hope
© klaus mayer

the alaska design forum is celebrating 20 years of design in alaska.

here is a short Q&A with katherine stalker of association of architecture organizations

in preparation of our party at the anchorage museum may 10 2013.




kska radio show on urban in alaska today

Architecture, Public Space & Urban Design

los anchorage

los anchorage or
architecture in the wild

April 16, 2013 – 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm


This week on Addressing Alaskans, we’ll feature one of three panel discussions recorded at the Urban in Alaska conference hosted by UAA. First Dr. Shelia Selkregg speaks on “Community Vision and Genius Loci,” followed by architect Klaus Mayer on “Lost Anchorage: Architecture in the Wild,” then Dr. Sharon Chamard on “Conflict Over Public Spaces: Responses to Chronic Public Inebriates in Anchorage” and finally Bruce Farnsworth of MTS Gallery on “A State in Time.”

urban in alaska

urban in alaska panel one: dr. sharon chamard, dr. shelia selkregg, klaus mayer and bruce farnsworth