For years the Imperial Inn, an old motor inn on Main Street in Downtown Bozeman, sat empty; a relic from an era gone by. This prime real estate needed a new vision and a modern direction, which is exactly what architect Eric Nelson, from Think Tank AIA, saw when he and his business partner, architect Brian Caldwell, purchased the building.
Project: The Lark Bozeman
Architects: Erik Nelson and Brian Caldwell, Think Tank AIA
Construction: Jon Evans, North Fork Builders
Bridger Steel Products: 12” Ultra Batten, 24 Gauge Bonderized
Photographer: Dan Armstrong www.daphotos.com
“The first key element was to reinvent the motor lodge style into something befitting of today,” says Nelson. The design rearranges the functions of the rooms and widens the traditional Motor Inn balcony to provide more privacy for guest rooms.
12" Ultra Batten Panels give this old motor home and updated look.
Nelson and his team were inspired by several other motor lodge rehabs. They wanted to capture the spirit of Bozeman and present it with a real locals’ feel. “Our idea was that, when someone stays at the Lark it’s not like any place USA – it’s celebrating what is best about this place.”
In order to capture the unique character of Bozeman, the team enlisted the help of local artists and suppliers to enhance the designs and create an atmosphere inside and out that showcases the city’s best pieces.
“The use of steel just made sense, not only for the inherent ease of maintenance but the overall aesthetic,” says Nelson. “Throughout the motel we strove for truth in material, making sure that each element fit naturally.”
The Bonderized Panels Help to Create a Natural Feel of the Building.
Nelson and his team chose to use 12” Ultra Batten (24 Gauge Bonderized) panel for the metal siding. “The Steel provides a solid feel to the building façade. We chose bonderized steel because it provides a more natural ‘real’ feel to the building.”
The Lark motel retains the original design of a motor lodge, but has upgraded and modernized the purpose. With an entire room devoted to maps and trip planning, plenty of outdoor space to visit with friends and family, local artwork displayed throughout, and an Air Stream Taco Truck, Victory Taco, in the parking lot the Lark is sure to be a new favorite among visitors and locals alike.
The Mixture of Steel and Wood Fit Perfectly with Pops of Color.