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BP Exploration Alaska Building

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1982–1985, HOK. 900 E. Benson Blvd.
  • BP Exploration Building

BP's Alaskan headquarters, more formally known as the BP Exploration Alaska Building, is perhaps most elegant of the oil-era Anchorage office buildings. Opened in 1985 after two years of construction, it stands on a 36-acre site at the intersection of the Seward Highway and East Benson Boulevard. The headquarters accommodates parking in an attractive landscaped setting. The thirteen-story building has facets on the north and south and a stepped roofline. The building is faced with a combination of pink granite and precast concrete, the granite located mostly on the diagonals of the facade, while the concrete is used on the orthogonal planes. The two materials work well together, and the impression of the building's color varies from pink to gray, depending on weather and lighting.

Designed by HOK's San Francisco office, the building has a two-story section attached to the high-rise by a three-story, glass-covered atrium. It includes a total of 324,000 square feet of Class A office space. Interior furnishings are rich, including cherry paneling in the lobby and thirteenth floor. Eighteen major pieces of art, most by Alaskan artists, were commissioned for the building, both indoors and out, and contribute to the plush surroundings. The building hosts a cafeteria that is well regarded among the employees and Anchorage residents alike. In addition to the primary building housing BP’s Alaska headquarters, BP Alaska also operates the BP Energy Center, a separate space to south. The BP Energy Center serves as a community meeting space for nonprofits and educational organizations. The BP Energy Center also reflects the corporation’s commitment to the Anchorage community and represents its long history of philanthropy throughout Alaska.  

BP has operated in Alaska since the late 1960s and has been one of the largest extractors of oil on the state’s North Slope. BP is most known in Alaska for its operations in Prudhoe Bay, North America’s largest oil field. However, beginning in the 2010s, BP began to deemphasize Alaska in its global portfolio. In 2019, BP announced that it would sell off its remaining Alaskan assets to Hilcorp Energy Company, based out of Houston, Texas, and owned by Jeffery Hildebrand. In contrast to BP, a publicly traded, multinational corporation, Hilcorp is a privately run business. As part of the $5.6 billion deal, Hilcorp will assume ownership over all of BP’s Alaska properties, including the BP Exploration Alaska Building.

References

Spoerhase, Brandon. "BP is Leaving Alaska. So What's Going to Happen to its Big Office Building in Midtown Anchorage." Anchorage Daily News, September 5, 2019.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Alison K. Hoagland
Updated By: 
Ian C. Hartman (2020)
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Data

Timeline

  • 1982

    Built

What's Nearby

Citation

Alison K. Hoagland, "BP Exploration Alaska Building", [Anchorage, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AK-01-SC023.

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 95-96.

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