Big Sky Community Center and Biophilic Design
The Beacon Recreation Center
Larkspur Community Center
Stephen G Terrell Recreation Center
Big Sky, Montana
BRS was hired as a consultant for full-service work with A&E Design. Together, we created a true community center built on sustainable programming, partnerships and a welcoming experience. Originally designed with the seasonal workers and the long-term locals in mind, BASE is a place for everyone. BASE stands for Big Adventure Safe Environment. The acronym describes two parts: The immersive experience of being in the mountains and the multigenerational offerings supporting well-being for all ages.
LocationBig Sky, Montana
ClientBig Sky Community Organization
CategoryMultigenerational, Certified Sustainable, Planning + Studies
BASE Community Center acts as a visitor center of sorts for those ready to explore outdoor spaces and trails. The trailhead starts at the entrance with a map of the local trails and anyone can come inside and ask for a map or directions at the front desk. The programs inside cater to everyone. Spaces include a fitness center, gymnasium (basketball, pickleball and volleyball), climbing gym, multiuse studio and ceramic arts and crafts space. Stakeholders attended Rec Camp in 2019 to review programming and find more multiuse and flexible solutions.
BASE acts as an after school activity zone, a cozy place out of the winter air and a place where people come together to connect. The “community living room” space just beyond the reception desk is a safe place where people can hang out, watch TV, play games, and connect socially. Partnerships with the Arts Council of Big Sky and Behavior Health Coalition will bring workshops, classes and programs.
BASE at Big Sky is a LEED Gold certified building. The community center is an all-electric facility. It uses natural materials including a cedar siding on the exterior. Other sustainable design choices include solar panels on the roof, a green roof, native plants in the landscaping, natural ventilation, optimal daylighting and radiant heating in the floors. For more information about the WELL Building Standard read our insight.
A feasibility study for the Big Sky Community Organization in 2018 resulted in a site selection and program needs assessment. Four sites were rated with different program options for each one including a competition hockey facility. With connectivity and inclusiveness as aims, the town center site was chosen for BASE. This project is a testament for planning because if you set it up right from the beginning it gives you the opportunity to refine the design and make it better.
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