March 2nd, 2022

Chow + Chats are our internal learning lunches.  Each month, a different staff member shares about any subject they want.  The only rule: it can’t be work related.  This month, Sarah filled us in on her trip to San Juan and made us Puerto Rican rum jello shots.  (Just little ones, come on – this is work!)  We have a very diverse and interesting group.  Past subjects have included:

  • Cheesemaking and hobby farming
  • Crop dusting
  • Organ donation
  • Pet rescue
  • Lefsa
  • Collecting knifes
  • Mexican culture & food
  • Canada fishing trips
  • Birds
  • Sushi making
  • Credit card travel tips

We love to learn from each other and the world around us.  We value new experiences and perspectives as inspiration for creativity and design.  What will be next?

Natatorium + Fieldhouse Groundbreaking

May 21st, 2021

Congrats to our very own home base Mason City Community School District on breaking ground for a new Fieldhouse + Natatorium.  We are honored to be your partners in these projects which will serve generations of students right here in our community!

We are working remotely!

March 18th, 2020

During this time, Bergland + Cram remains up and running, with team members working off-site in order to safeguard the welfare of our staff and clients. The only change you may experience is not being able to reach anyone by calling our office directly.

Please go here to find individual staff email and phone contacts.

March 19th Bid, Jefferson Elementary – Contact Doug Foreshoe

March 24th Bid, Mercy One Albert Lea – Contact Dana Thomas

For billing information – Contact Christy Engebretson

If you have a potential project you would like to talk to us about – Contact Kristy Sagdalen King or Andy Meyer

The 3P Process

September 26th, 2019

3P stands for People, Process + Preparation. A rapid improvement design approach which focuses on process optimization (such as front desk check-in) and then and only then creates architectural solutions around these processes. The B+C team recently worked with the Forest City Library over two full days to completely design and build in real size their new library layout – shaving off weeks if not months of the traditional collaboration process.

63 Years In The Making

July 18th, 2019

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 marked our 63rd anniversary! Back in 1956, a young Robert Bergland and Harold Bianco joined together to start a new architectural firm in downtown Mason City, Bergland and Bianco. The original office was located at 11 1/2 S. Federal Ave. Randy Cram joined the firm in 1974 and becameprincipal in 1982, which is when the firm’s name changed to Bergland + Cram. The firm now consists of 5 licensed architects, 3 architectural designers, 2 interior designers, and 2 administrative/graphics team members. Through the years, our firm continues to grow and prosper with a strong emphasis on efficiency, professionalism, and open communication.

A Future Architect

March 29th, 2019

This young 8 year old has a passion for design. At 4 years old, he drew up plans to redesign his house and now has some plans for a restaurant. After pestering his grandma to share his ideas with someone, she came to us asking if we would be willing to talk to him after school. We were more than happy to sit down with him and listen to his ideas. To say that our staff had warm hearts that afternoon is an understatement!

Chow & Chat

February 20th, 2019

Maybe you call them Lunch & Learns.  We call them Chow & Chats!  Every month, we gather at the front porch and learn about something totally non-work related from a fellow teammate.  Like the story behind a homegrown charity cause.  Or a favorite vacation destination.  Or raising animals and growing your own food.  Anything goes, and it’s a great way to take a break from talking shop to experience the varied interests of the people we work alongside every day.  What will we learn next?

Plane rides at Grand Jivante

September 10th, 2018

Grand Jivante in Ackley, Iowa is redefining eldercare by providing activities and experiences which embrace adventure and excitement in the everyday lives of seniors.  Andy Meyer from Bergland + Cram partnered with Grand Jivante to provide plane rides to a few residents on a beautiful, end of summer morning during the first week of September.  He also talked about his WWII era plane with those that were unable to board, but wanted to get out on the runway and close to all the action.  Kudos to GJ for making new memories every day for their residents!

One Vision

June 12th, 2018

One Vision, formerly Opportunity Village, serves individuals with disabilities and their families in North Iowa.  For decades, OV hosted much of their clientele in Clear Lake on a large, diverse campus which includes living, working, and recreational opportunities.  A few years back, government mandates started to dictate that these individuals be decentralized and integrated among community neighborhoods, leaving OV with a dilemma.How to continue to focus on providing exceptional care and opportunities for specialized needs, while repurposing their soon to be empty buildings and beautiful 80 acre site?

Bergland + Cram started working with OV in 2016 to determine next steps.  Market research affirmed a demonstrated need for a variety of senior housing in North Iowa, which prompted the OV board to consider transitioning their campus toward a senior living community.

Cerro Gordo County and all of North Iowa are faced with an increased aging population as our baby boomers begin to reach senior citizen age.  Seniors make up 20% of Iowa’s population, 4% more than the national average.  OV recognized that they were uniquely positioned to provide something to this aging population – something that has always been at the core of their business: providing amenities and opportunities to those with specific needs.

If a senior living campus were to start from scratch, in addition to living units, it would require certain amenities.  OV already had several desirable features in place, including a gym, an indoor pool, rooms for work and recreation, as well as a kitchen and open cafeteria multi-purpose space.  What needed to be added to the mix was a variety of residential options and voila, a senior living campus could be created by repurposing much of what already existed.

The campus will provide two types of living as a start.  OV’s original group cottages are being converted into contemporary condos for seniors, ranging from 1,500 – 2,500 SF in size.  The bones of these facilities remained mostly intact, with interior and exterior renovations making them an attractive, contemporary, and affordable option for seniors.  Best of all, they are situated in a serene and secluded area with an abundance of mature trees and walking paths.  The addition of individual entrances and attached garages will transform 9 original condos into 27 units called The Terraces at Glen Oaks.

Along with these private owner condominiums, construction on a new 48 unit apartment building began in early 2018.  The Timbercrest Apartments will be physically linked to the existing amenities on campus, and will offer various sized units with one and two-bedroom options.  These apartments will open in the Summer of 2019, kicking off a new chapter in the life of the OV campus.  For more information visit link to OV site

Living Little with a Tiny Home

February 5th, 2018

Project Manager Cally Niess of Bergland + Cram partnered with NIACC Building trades this year to design and build a one of a kind Tiny Home of her own.

Cally is transitioning her lifestyle to minimalist. In her journey of finding a home after graduating college, she came across the Tiny Home idea. The thought of Tiny Homes being affordable, yet unique housing intrigued her.

“I wasn’t excited about buying a home, it just seemed like something I needed to do because that’s what everyone my age was doing.” Said Cally, “Then it hit me, why am I doing what others are doing? I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, and this shouldn’t be any different.”

In September 2017 NIACC Building Trades began taking applications for custom tiny homes. Cally applied and a few short weeks later she was signing the dotted line and the wheels started turning.

When Cally took to designing her tiny home, she stripped the typical residential home down to its core programs of sleeping space, bathroom, kitchen, hobby space, dining room, living room/relaxation, general storage and closet.

Exterior of Cally's Tiny Home

In exploring these program elements, Cally identified which could be consolidated to share space. In bringing general storage and living space together, the living room will be built on an elevated platform to house totes of items such as seasonal clothing, craft/art supplies, etc underneath.  The half-height wall that encloses the storage, acts as the anchor to a flip up table that will be used for dining and a work station for hobbies.  The closet and sleeping space is consolidated in a sense where the steps going up to the lofted bed is being used as a closet to hold all clothing.

“It took a lot of dissecting and imagination of what I wanted my space to feel like. It’s fun to see a space shrink – yet still be able to fit my needs.” Said Cally.

Continue to follow Cally’s journey to Tiny Homeownership with her blog: