Gregoire, Twogood break out to form own architecture firm
Architecture is once again taking center stage in a city founded by railroad companies, nurtured by farmers and booming because of oil.
While much of the past century's building design in Dickinson was utilitarian and common of the prairie surrounding it. But new houses, public, industrial and commercial buildings are picking up a modern design that shows the flare of the time much like the houses built by the railroad barons in the late 1800s.
When they leapt out on their own in January and formed GT Architecture, Brian Gregoire and Jared Twogood hoped to contribute to the creativity of the building boom happening in this once sleepy prairie city.
"The common goal is to build a nice building and have a happy client," Twogood said.
He demonstrated how, with a few tweaks in design, a simple and square building can turn into something much more visually appealing while maintaining its function.
Creating a slanted roof with different points supports rain runoff while creating interest and putting an indentation along the wall not only creates a place for flowers to grow outside, it reduces square footage, saving the building party money.
"We want our clients to be happy and not feel like, once they're done with us, that they just got ripped off," Twogood said.
The biggest adjustment to having their own firm is the time spent working that isn't spent designing.
"You wear the hats for everything," Gregoire said, "from the marketing to production to meeting with the clients and then just everything in between."
While they expected it, the change to doing everything to run a business took some getting used to.
"I never had to do that, because you would just tell the secretary and she got them," Gregoire said. "Now it's like, 'I'm going to run up to Walmart,' and there's an hour out of your day lost."
GT Architecture is a full-service architecture firm providing site analysis, programing, schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding and construction administration for commercial, educational, government, industrial, religious, residential and other buildings.
"Consolidated is a really nice client we got in with," Twogood said.
The firm is designing three buildings for the telecommunications company -- all of which are slated to begin construction this year.
"I think they're doing a great job," said Forrest Mikkelsen, plant manager at Consolidated. "Both Brian and Jared, they're very easy to work with and they're doing a great job for us so far."
Two of the buildings are going to be used to house electronics needed to equip the growing community, Mikkelsen said.
Gregoire and Twogood will do housing designs from scratch, while many larger building companies will have set floor plans that clients have some control over.
"They're going to be spending a lot of money, whether it's a new house or an addition," Gregoire said. "We really take that into consideration -- trying to help them with their dream house."
GT Architecture is located at 288 First St W., at the corner of Third Avenue and First Street. Call them at 701-483-8434
or visit them online at www.gt