Construction History

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Its roof slopes jauntily, its windows reflect irregular patterns. The design of Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center is intended to play off the rugged, mountains that surround it.

With exposed steel, stone, wood and glass and a warmly lit, high-ceilinged lobby complete with fireplace and mountain views, the building pays homage to a Montana aesthetic akin to ski and hunting lodges. It was designed to blend in with its surroundings, a building appropriate to its environs with modern overtones to illustrate the up-to-date technology inside the hospital.

Big Sky Medical Center was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, based in Minneapolis. HGA was selected based on their extensive experience designing rural medical facilities. The goal was to create a healthcare facility with a modern Montana architectural style that would sustain and grow with community service needs far into the future.

Big Sky Fire and Summit Air Ambulance (now Reach Air Ambulance) personnel helped design some of the most functional parts of the building. The size and approach of the ambulance bay allows inbound patients to be unloaded in a protected area. Summit's pilots conducted test maneuvers to pinpoint the optimal location for the helipad.

Environmental efficiency and sustainability also were paramount. The primary heating and cooling source is geothermal with supplemental propane. Emergency diesel generators provide backup, required for a 24/7/365 hospital operating with northern-tier climatic conditions.

At the heart of functionality is concern for patients. The inpatient wing on the south side of the hospital was situated for quiet ambience, taking advantage of serene views of the South and West Forks of the Gallatin River. A private courtyard also incorporates nature as part of the healing environment.

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