Opened: August 2020Architects: SMA Architect and NAC Architects
Hyalite is a particularly clear variety of opal that can be found in the hills that surround Bozeman, Montana. It lends its name to a nearby reservoir, canyon, and – as of this year – the newest residence hall on the Montana State University campus.
Hyalite Hall, located on the edge of campus, features 510 beds spread over six floors and configured into ten distinct communities. It draws on its scenic surroundings for more than just its name, as the center of the building, which connects two wings, is fronted by a backlit lantern wall. Inside, images of Hyalite Canyon’s waterfalls and recreational activities are visible. When printed images just don’t do the trick, floor-to-ceiling windows offer glorious views of the Big Sky vistas.
The residence hall amenities include spacious two-story lounges, two conference rooms, a laundry room, stylish study areas, and a shared kitchen as well as a multipurpose room that can seat up to 150 people. Befitting the outdoor recreation opportunities Bozeman offers, Hyalite residents also have access to secure bike storage and ski lockers.
Sustainability features of the hall include low-flow water fixtures and motion sensor lights. The building is oriented in such a way as to take advantage of the sun during the winter but lower the heat in the summer. A solar wall will help pre-heat the building’s water and also circulate air. The campus is applying for LEED Gold certification.
— James A. Baumann