Made in Big Sky: Cushing Terrell

Made in Big Sky: Cushing Terrell

EBS employees

Experience isn’t something you can replicate, explains Skye Cook, co-owner of Cushing Terrell, an architectural firm that serves seven states in the U.S., including coverage in most of Montana. And Cushing Terrell has 85 years of it. The company moved to its Bozeman office in 2002, and has been designing, planning and building projects of all shapes and sizes across the Valley and Big Sky ever since. In this issue of Made in Big Sky, Explore Big Sky spoke to Cook about their vision for the future of the region, as well as her favorite local projects: the Ramcharger and Swift Current lifts at Big Sky Resort.

This series is part of a paid partnership with the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. The following answers have been edited for brevity.

Cushing Terrell’s Bozeman office is located downtown. Photo courtesy of Sky Cook

Explore Big Sky: Sky Tell me about yourself – when did you join the Cushing Terrell team and what is your role?

Sky Cook: I am an architect, project manager, and co-owner of Cushing Terrell. I have been with the firm for 16 years and lead the architecture studio for our Bozeman area projects. The Bozeman office was established in 2002, and we have continued to grow our multidisciplinary architectural and engineering practice in Bozeman and the surrounding communities ever since. The team here currently consists of architects, interior designers, mechanical engineers, civil engineers, landscape architects, surveyors and land planners.

EBS: Cushing Terrell has been around for a while. Can you talk about what longevity brings to the table for an architecture firm?

SC: Having 85 years of work behind us gives Cushing Terrell perspective above all else. We have witnessed first-hand the growth and development of this vital industry over the past eight decades and have grown and evolved with it. But with age also comes wisdom and the benefits of experience, so it is simply impossible to replicate many years of imparted knowledge. And then, of course, we had the opportunity to really become part of the fabric of the communities where our team members have lived and worked for so long. Making positive impacts on the health, safety and growth of our communities is what drives us to work every day.

EBS: We live in such a beautiful place. What does Cushing Terrell feel responsible for working with this landscape in your projects?

SC: Our vision for design in Montana and elsewhere is to balance built and natural environments that will provide a healthy future for our clients, colleagues and communities. We aim to contribute to this balance by making sustainability the foundation of our design and business operations. Not only is Montana home to our founding office, but it is also unique in its vast, yet undisturbed, landscape and resources that are especially important in our minds and in our work. With all the knowledge and vision we have today that points to the critical importance of protecting this natural beauty and these finite resources, we acknowledge and accept our role as innovators who can set a precedent for environmentally conscious and sustainable design solutions for the next 85 years. , and beyond.

EBS: Tell me about some of the projects you’ve done at Big Sky:

SC: We have a long history of operating in the Big Sky region and have weathered the peaks and valleys of growth that has occurred here in recent decades. One of my favorite projects at Big Sky Resort was the Ramcharger and Swift Current lift buildings, a structure many have seen on the mountain, but not many companies have been able to include in their portfolios.

Cushing Terrell also played a large role in the Big Sky Town Center development effort at its inception two decades ago; The vision for Big Sky Town Center was implemented largely in accordance with the planned unit development we completed in 2004. This project exceeded typical development timelines and evolved with the changes that occurred in the market over time, but the overall vision of creating a mall in a mountain resort base was achieved. Full of walkable housing.

Today we are working on projects around Big Sky Resort, including Levinski Lodge, a 30-unit workforce housing project, and the Cold Smoke development, an approximately 350-unit workforce housing master plan in partnership with Lone Mountain Land Company with the goal of starting their rights this winter

EBS: What sets you apart from other companies in the region?

SC: One of the phrases we often use to describe Cushing Terrell is “where design meets you” and I think this really captures what sets us apart in a nutshell. Our design process is highly collaborative and always focused on improving the user experience of the built environment above all else. We have no set “style” and treat every design challenge as an opportunity to realize our mission of “Creating a Better Way of Living.” This, combined with our multi-disciplinary structure, allows for a uniquely holistic approach to our design solutions.

EBS: Sustainability seems to be a core pillar of the company. Can you explain how you defend your work and why it is important in each project?

SC: As I noted earlier, with the information we have today showing the building industry’s contribution to energy use and harmful carbon emissions, we are forced to be responsible stewards of the natural environment by reducing our footprint and that of our clients. This focus is evident in the commitments we make to hold ourselves accountable for making a measurable impact. Some of these initiatives include a company-wide Sustainable Design Initiative which aligns with the AIA Design Excellence Framework and applies to all projects, our SME Climate Commitment/UN Race to Zero, and the Sustainability Services Sector Foundation to raise the profile of our sustainable design experts among our project teams and make… Their guidance is readily available to our clients.

EPS: What is the best business advice you’ve ever received that sticks with you in your business?

SC: Working in a project-based, deadline-driven industry, I have been involved in many discussions about finding work-life balance. One notable quote is: The secret of life is to always have something to look forward to… So, what are you looking forward to?

EBS: Is there anything else you feel is important to tell the Big Sky community?

SC: In this destination-oriented city we call home, we have focused our work and impact on the resort community as well as the local community. We all love living, working and exploring in this region and knowing what it takes to maintain the continued momentum of growth and development. With our range of service offerings, project types and market sector expertise spanning commercial, financial, mixed use, multifamily residential, education and healthcare, Cushing Terrell brings a unique and dynamic perspective to shaping our environments. Taking a holistic approach allows us to maintain authenticity and respond to the needs of our community.

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