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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
October 2012
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: The NCAA Headquarters Expansion

Architectural Firm of the Month: RATIO Architects

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian Prospect Park Welcome to the October issue of our newsletter! In each issue we present you with interesting and informative articles about the various projects architects and designers are working on around the country. If there is a project you would like to share with us, please feel free to contact us and tell us about it. If you are chosen, we will feature your project in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter, and highlight your firm as well. To learn more about our "high-end" cut-to-size Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products, please click here to visit our website.

Architectural Firm of the Month: RATIO Architects
Ratio 1 Photograph Copyright Zbaren Photography

RATIO is an interdisciplinary design practice offering services in architecture, historic preservation, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design and planning, and graphic design.

RATIO was founded on the principles of reason and proportion. We believe that successful design is achieved through clear objectives, a logical process and creative execution. Our clients' satisfaction is our primary focus. The challenges they face are the real starting points of our inspiration and innovation.

In 2007, RATIO commemorated 25 years of design. Since our founding in 1982, the firm has partnered with a diverse list of clients, ranging from developers to corporations, to universities and governmental agencies on a variety of higher education, community, life sciences, workplace, lifestyle and cultural projects.

In every project, we look first to understand each client's character and history, and use creative design to reflect their mission, values and spirit. RATIO values its role in helping people connect with their community. We understand the importance of listening and know it's the critical first step in helping to shape your design vision. We listen to your goals, values and budget and then translate that vision into a distinctive, functional solution unique to your organization. 

For more information visit:

Topic of the Month: The NCAA Headquarters Expansion            

Ratio 1 Photograph Copyright Zbaren Photography

The building that serves as The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Headquarters in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana was originally designed by renowned architect Michael Graves, an Indianapolis native. The building, which is situated adjacent to the NCAA Hall of Champions in White River State Park, recently received a 143,000 square foot expansion designed by Bill Browne of Ratio Architects. Not only is the new addition respectful of Grave's original design, but it is LEED Gold Certified as well.

Browne describes Graves' original building and the transformation that it underwent during the expansion process. He explains, "The components of Graves' project were essentially a Hall of Champions that architecturally recalls a stadium-like structure, and then a bar of a building, a simple rectangular prism, if you will, that houses the corporate offices of the NCAA. This four-story rectangular building has parallel barrel vaults on the fourth floor that traverse the length of the bar and create the top of the building. Those were clad in copper and then that same copper material found its way onto the façade of the building in a regulated pattern of pavilions of copper flanked by brick, then another pavilion of copper and so forth, creating a rhythm across the façade. The entrance to the building was a vertical cylinder of copper that becomes the front door."

"Any time you're asked to add on to a very famous architect's work like Michael Graves who was born and raised in Indianapolis and is a native son of our community, and you're charged with being respectful to that, it causes you pause because you want to be strong about your convictions of design but you also have to be appreciative of what has come before you."

"When we designed our new addition, not only were we tasked with creating a new front door to the building, but we also had to ask ourselves what the architecture was going to be like. Myles Brand, the former president and CEO of the NCAA who has since passed, wanted to make sure that when we talked about the project we respected the Graves building and didn't detract from it. So we decided that we should approach the design of the addition with a modern style of architecture rather than trying to do a postmodern style. We also wanted the design to respect the scale of the building and for the color to be compatible as well."

Even though less than twenty years had passed since Graves had started the project, which is not long in terms of architectural history, one of Browne's objectives was to create a design that made it clear that the new expansion was built at a different time than the original building. "We did want to communicate the fact that this building was built at a different time than Graves' building. We were very careful to select a color that worked with the palette of colors of the bricks. Then we brought some detailing in the copper to the edge of our overhanging roof. Rather than placing our roof on top of the office block like Graves did, we let it create a plane and extend out and cover the building in a different way. Just as he was covering with his vaults, we covered it with a simple plane on the top of the roof."

"An interesting thing about the site is that when the national road came through Indianapolis, as it was heading west, rather than continuing in a perfectly straight line west when it got near the White River, which is the river that traverses through the city, they decided to deviate the national road nine and a half degrees to the northwest because was that was the shortest point they could find to cross the river perpendicularly with the shortest span. This created a nine and a half degree line in the landscape that went right in front of the spot where this building was located. That created a shift of building placement on the site against the orthogonal grid that very much aligns with the east-west national road that runs through the whole downtown. So when Graves planned this building, he put the Hall of Champions on one grid and office buildings on another grid and created this perspective and twisting of these platonic forms."

One of the challenges of the project was to achieve LEED certification. Browne explains, "The NCAA wanted this to be a LEED certified building. We pursued it starting at the Silver Level and just recently learned that we actually achieved the Gold Level.  Sustainability was an important component because their constituency of colleges and universities around the country are consistently constructing LEED certified buildings and they wanted to send the message that sustainability is important to the NCAA as well."

"A significant challenge with the project was the fact that this building is located in a state park. One of the things we wanted to do was to address the park with the south façade of the building and create a more academic presence to the north of the building. The south façade is deferential to the Hall of Champions so the Hall of Champions sort of wins the day from the athletic standpoint. So there is an athletic side which is a much more public side in the park, and then there is an academic side which is more appropriate for the campus side of the building." 

"The NCAA has been extremely pleased with the results of the project just as we are. It's not often that you get the opportunity to have this kind of an impact on an important building in a community. We've been fortunate to do a number of corporate headquarters and this one is a very special one because we were able to memorialize Myles Brand, NCAA President from 2003-2009 who passed away during course of this project. The building is now known as the Myles Brand Building, which is really a nice tribute to him. We're very pleased to have gotten to know him and ultimately be able to memorialize his name, as well as Cedric Dempsey's, NCAA President from 1994-2002, whose name now graces the Graves building. We're obviously very proud to have been afforded the opportunity to design this building."       


Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) 

The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), a Knowledge Community of The American Institute of Architects, is committed to the promotion of all residential architecture based on architectural content irrespective of style. For more information visit:  

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit: 


Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit: 


Architectural Record Continuing Education Center

Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture 

CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. Visit: 

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit: 


The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.





Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

Copyright Devonian Stone of New York, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved. Content may not be copied or reproduced in any way without the written consent of Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.