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Photograph by Chloe Nostrant

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Gilley & Gilley

Drawing houses, designing businesses, and building relationships

Article by Katie Thomas

Photography by Bruce Muhlbradt | 406 Photo

Originally published in Bozeman City Lifestyle

Sitting on West Olive Street is an unassuming golden bungalow, where two kittens recline on architectural drawings. The drawings depict a variety of structures, from residences to spin studios. The parents of these felines are Duncan and Allison Gilley, a husband-and-wife architecture team who have been practicing in Bozeman since 2003.

After working in architecture in Chicago for 10 years, the Gilleys relocated to Bozeman and worked for a handful of local firms. Eventually, they started their own design/build business, but when the 2008 recession hit they were forced to take jobs outside the industry. Things picked back up fairly quickly, and the arrival of Covid ultimately resulted in the Gilley and Gilley of today.

Offering both commercial and residential architectural services for new construction and remodeling, the Gilleys work with companies like Reworks Carpentry, Total Quality Construction, Stillwater Builders and others to bring their clients’ visions to life. “People often come to us for custom design solutions,” says Duncan. “Because our setup is relatively small, we have the flexibility to recognize each client’s specific needs, and within reason, we can give it to them.”

Both Allison and Duncan attribute their success to their shared philosophy of prioritizing relationships. They hold communication and service in high regard, lending them a superior collective approach. “We sometimes get clients who have never done this before,” Allison explains, “and we get to educate them, help them get comfortable with the unknown and build trust.”

“We focus on being personal while following protocols,” adds Duncan, “which is part of the responsibility of doing it right. And the project is always better off for it.”

What about all the rapid growth and change going on in Bozeman? “Our view is that we have a responsibility and stewardship to do things right, and to leave the community better than it was,” says Allison. “Hopefully our work’s legacy is that it fits in here, with that Bozeman je ne sais quoi.”

A-frame cabins at Tiny Town Campground in Emigrant, MT. 

  • Photograph by Chloe Nostrant
  • Photograph by Chloe Nostrant