NCAA Pool Underway!

It’s “Bracket Time, Baby!”  Here at Gontram Architecture, we are again hosting our annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Pool!

The Tournament provides a much-needed release, distraction and yes, madness.  Yeah, we know the stats about wasted time, lost productivity, yada yada.  Everyone should just have fun once in a while.

That said, we renew our open invitation to enter your picks on Gontram Architecture’s Annual NCAA Basketball Pool.  Gontram Architecture’s version of the traditional office pool is unique.

Our Pool is FREE – no money, no trouble with the authorities.

It’s open to anyone. (We don’t encourage folks under 18 yrs old to play, but we don’t object either.)  Two years ago, 6 of the top 10 finishers were still in elementary school!

We have great prizes from great sponsors:

It doesn’t even matter if you know anything about college basketball – trust me, it doesn’t.  In fact, an average amount of knowledge seems to be a hinderance as I have not even SNIFFED a prize position in the history of the Pool.

Register by going to our sign-up page.  (This year, you must register in order to participate – sorry for the additional step, but with well over a thousand contestants, this helps manage the “madness.”)  Then, log on between 8:00 pm, Sunday March 15th (Selection Sunday) and 11:00 am, Thursday, March 19th and make your picks.  And, you too, can become a little less productive for a couple of days in March.

One entry per person, please.

Happy Holidays from Gontram Architecture!

A sincere “Happy Holidays” from Gontram Architecture to you!  As part of our annual holiday tradition, we’ve produced another episode in a long series of “odd” animated videos:How_to_Construct_A_Snowman_6-01

How to Construct a Snowman – Part 6 – Fun in the Snow…With Zoning!

This definitely falls under the “Other nonsense” category…

In Part 6 of our “How to Construct a Snowman” video series, Ned Ledbetter embarks on a new strategy to reach the masses: a Video Blog. Join Ned as he updates the public on recent weather events, changes to field inspections, and other items of interest. He also dives in to the world of Twitter.How_to_Construct_A_Snowman_6-03

A special “thanks” goes to Dave Schulz of Schulz Ironworks for providing the voice of Ned.

View the video HERE.

You can also view Part 1 thru 5:How_to_Construct_A_Snowman_6-02

Part I – How to Construct a Snowman: A Zoning Enforcement Officer’s Perspective

Part II – How to Construct a Snowman: The Design-Bid-Build Process

Part III – How to Construct a Snowman: Financing a Snowman with Hot Chocolate.

Part IV:  How to Construct a Snowman:  Navigating the Politics

Part V: How to Construct a Snowman: Lighting your Snowman

If having trouble viewing the YouTube version, try the Flash version in a new window. Flash Player is required. Free download available at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/.

Marshall Retail Group’s new RDU Terminal 1 Retail Shops

FlightStop North from terminal concourse

FlightStop North from terminal concourse

FlightStop North, FlightStop South, and Marshall Rousso/Ruby Blue retail shops opened in Raleigh-Durham Airport’s (RDU) newly renovated Terminal 1 this past month.  Gontram Architecture was selected to assist the Marshall Retail Group and SmartDesign Group as the local architectural firm on the project.

The overall project consisted of three individual retail upfits (totaling approximately 3,000 sq. ft., plus some off-site warehouse space) with tight schedule constraints and multiple reviews throughout the design phase.

 

FlightStop South interior

FlightStop South interior

SmartDesign Group was the lead designer on the project.

 

FlightStop South from terminal concourse

FlightStop South from terminal concourse

Marshall Rousso from terminal concourse

Marshall Rousso from terminal concourse

Ruby Blue

Ruby Blue

Sigma Nu – NCSU – Grand Opening

Front of Sigma Nu house

Front of Sigma Nu house

On Friday, January 3rd, 2014, the brothers of the Beta Tau chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity at North Carolina State University were presented with a huge gift (and an awesome responsibility) in the form of a new $4.2 million fraternity house.  A video of house features can be viewed HERE.

Dignitaries, alumni and project partners gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony.  See some of the Dedication Ceremony Highlights video HERE.

The guys moved in the following day, just before the start of the Spring semester.

Schematic rendering

Schematic rendering

Gontram Architecture was there from conception to delivery.  What started as a quick sketch in 2007 (to see if fundraising was viable) turned into a Ground Breaking Ceremony in 2009.  Some very real financing issues delayed the project for some time, but hard work continued in the background until building permits were obtained in 2012.  The fraternity finally realized their dream 6-1/2 years after the journey began.

Front of Sigma Nu house

Front of Sigma Nu house

The original design sketched out in 2007 was refined, pushed, prodded, and poked, but the concept is essentially unchanged.

  • Oversized porch columns reflect a strong and stable structure and foundation – the brothers currently in the house as well as the thousands of alumni that have come before them.
  • A roof lantern provides a beacon for alumni.  It’s with strong alumni support and participation that fraternities can thrive.
  • As residents enter the house, the roof lantern and grand lobby force eyes skyward, reminding them to have lofty goals and never settle for complacency.
Alumni Library

Alumni Library

To the credit of its House Corporation president, Howard Pickett and many generous Sigma Nu alumni (such as Randall Ward), those architectural elements were never sacrificed for budget reasons, though they very easily could have been as money got tight.

On January 3rd, a fraternity’s dream was realized.  The alumni of the Beta Tau chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity stepped up big time, and handed the keys of the house (a house as nice as any on the East coast) to the active brothers of the chapter.

Dining Room

Dining Room

Now, it is up to all that come after to maintain this level of excellence, and for other fraternities to try to match it – no small feat.

For more information on the project, please check out our Website.

Entry Vestibule

Entry Vestibule

NCAA Bowl Game Pick ‘Em Pool is Complete!

BowlPrizes#1-ranked Florida State beat Auburn in a classic game (with a 4th quarter to be remembered) to win the BCS Championship Game! The 2013-2014 NCAA Football Bowl Season is now complete!

In Gontram Architecture’s annual NCAA Pick ‘Em Pool, Daniel King takes 1st place in the Pool with 121 points and an impressive 84% pick percentage. He did pick all of the BCS Bowl Games correctly, scoring massive points for those picks.  (That’s the intent in our point scoring system – reward those for picking the correct winner in the games that mattered the most.)

Dale Kitchen takes home the horse’s butt trophy for last place.  With a 38% pick percentage, he found himself in the basement.

Review the results by visiting our page and clicking on various reports.  You can see bowl game results, tourney scoring, review your picks (as well as other competitors’), and more.

http://www.gontramarchitecture.com/ga-news/NCAABowl/ncaa-bowl.htm.

A special thanks to our sponsors who donated various prizes:

** Prize Note: WindDesigns – The Flag Shop is a premier, locally owned flag center for decorative flags. If you’re in the market for a decorative flag, please visit their website.

*** Collegiate flags limited to availability. Not all Division I schools are available. NC State, of course, is available.

Happy Holidays from Gontram Architecture!

A sincere “Happy Holidays” from Gontram Architecture to you!  As part of our annual holiday tradition, we’ve produced another episode in a long series of “odd” animated videos:

How to Construct a Snowman – Part V – Lighting your SnowmanHow_to_Construct_A_Snowman_5 lights

This definitely falls under the “Other nonsense” category…

In Part V of our “How to Construct a Snowman” video series, Ned Ledbetter, recently impeached councilman and returning Zoning Enforcement Officer educates us on the ins and outs of lighting your snowman at night, complying with the National Electric Code, the International Energy Code, and the Patient Protection and Affordability Act. How_to_Construct_A_Snowman_5 miley

A special “thanks” goes to Dave Schulz of Schulz Ironworks for providing the voice of Ned.

View the video HERE.

How_to_Construct_A_Snowman_5 textYou can also view Part I, II, III and IV:

Part I – How to Construct a Snowman: A Zoning Enforcement Officer’s Perspective

Part II – How to Construct a Snowman: The Design-Bid-Build Process

Part III – How to Construct a Snowman: Financing a Snowman with Hot Chocolate.

Part IV:  How to Construct a Snowman:  Navigating the Politics

If having trouble viewing the YouTube version, try the Flash version in a new window. Flash Player is required. Free download available at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/.

Free NCAA Bowl Game Pick ‘Em Pool – Picks due by 2:30 PM, December 21st!

BowlPrizesThe 2013 Bowl Season is here!  It’s more exciting than the Holidays (yeah, right!).

This year, again, a staggering 70 FBS (Division I) teams will participate this year in 35 bowl games.

First Place Prize compliments of G5 Design-Build, LLC

First Place Prize compliments of G5 Design-Build, LLC

Again, Gontram Architecture is hosting our Annual NCAA Bowl Game Pick ‘Em Pool!  As always, this is a FREE pool, open to (almost) anyone, with great prizes for the winners, including a horse’s butt bobblehead trophy for the Last Place winner!

Don’t miss out on the fun. (One entry per person, please.) Online Pick Sheets are available now by going to http://www.gontramarchitecture.com/ga-news/NCAABowl/ncaa-bowl.htm. Completed Entries are due one by 2:30 PM, December 21st, one hour prior to the first Bowl Game in our Pool (three bowl games are not included in our Pool due to software limitations).

Prizes:

** Prize Note: WindDesigns – The Flag Shop is a premier, locally owned flag center for decorative flags. If you’re in the market for a decorative flag, please visit their website.

*** Collegiate flags limited to availability. Not all Division I schools are available. NC State, of course, is available.