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Cushing Terrell reveals design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena

United States Architecture News - Sep 25, 2020 - 13:05   2829 views

Cushing Terrell reveals design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena

Cushing Terrell has revealed design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena, Montana, currently underway in Helena, Montana, United States

The design, which includes a 66,000 square feet (6,131-square-metre) of expansion and renovation to nearly 67,000 (6,224-square-metre) square feet of existing space, will be a state-of-the-art repository for the state's historic collections and resources, serving as a place for learning and discovery. 

When complete, the project will nearly double the size of the existing building and include 66,000 square feet of new space, plus exterior and interior renovations to 67,000 square feet of the existing 1952 Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building. 

Cushing Terrell reveals design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena

The Cushing Terrell's design melds new with historic, using the space between the two structures to create a dramatic entry that will seamlessly connect the two facilities.

"The vision for who we can be in the future really has also been built into this process, bringing together diverse voices from across our state from east and west, north and south, our tribal nations, men and women, young and old — it will be reflected right here," said Governor Steve Bullock at the ground blessing ceremony," said the firm. 

"Those voices will shape its architecture and landscaping the way that our mountains and our plains and those winding rivers have shaped each and every one of us." 

"This building design also looks to the future by incorporating sustainable features that will showcase the ingenuity and the values that make Montana such a special place," the office added.

Cushing Terrell reveals design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena

The studio takes inspiration from the state's geology, the new building will appear to emerge from the earth, symbolically referencing the Lewis Overthrust, the geophysical collision of tectonic plates that drove one plate over another and helped to define Montana's landscape. 

The landscape design will continue the sense of exploration with features and plantings that mimic (on a micro scale) the journey from the plains and grasslands to the foothills and forests and finally to mountain landscapes. Linking it all together is a river-like trail that will flow from one ecosystem to the next.

Cushing Terrell reveals design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena

"We hope the exterior environment provides visitors an opportunity to feel an intimate connection to the spectacular Montana landscape and the people who have lived here over the generations," notes Wes Baumgartner, landscape architect," explained Cushing Terrell.

The design concept for the Montana Heritage Center is meant to convey the feeling that nature is a driving force behind why people live in the state. The building's exterior represents the diverse and ever-changing Montana landscape, the backdrop for the lives of its residents. 

Cushing Terrell reveals design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena

From the inside, the building is a vessel that preserves and highlights the remarkable stories of Montana's people. 

With a commitment to sustainability and creating healthy spaces, the project is pursuing both USGBC LEED and IWBI WELL certifications and is anticipated to be complete in 2024.

Cushing Terrell reveals design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena

Cushing Terrell reveals design for the new Montana Heritage Center expansion and renovation in Helena

Cushing Terrell was founded in 1938 on the belief that integrating architecture, engineering, and design opens the doors for deepened relationships and enhanced creativity. This foundation continues to define the multi-disciplinary firm today. 

Driven by empathy, the team creates systems and spaces that help people live their best lives, achieve their visions, and enjoy healthy, sustainable built environments.

Project facts

Architects: Cushing Terrell

Cushing Terrell: Architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, fire protection, land surveying, stakeholder engagement, public outreach

Main Street Design: Interpretive exhibit consultant

Big Sky Acoustics: Acoustical consultant

Sletten Construction: Construction contractor

Client: State of Montana, Department of Administration / Montana Historical Society

All images courtesy of Cushing Terrell

> via Cushing Terrell