Conceived as a new arts hub in a rapidly changing district near downtown Omaha, an experimental theatre opens to the city outdoors through a public open space anchored with a mixed-use building. Three related projects share an integrated half-block to transform the relationship of cultural facilities and public / private space towards a community-focused urbanism. These are buildings and spaces designed to evolve through inhabitation. On a sloping site, the architects combine a 13,600 s.f. facility for BLUEBARN with Boxcar 10, a 10,000 s.f. restaurant / residential building, and a 7,500 s.f. public open space, owned by the Theatre. Designed for separate owners, the projects share a common language and a unified site strategy including storm water retention and unconventional materials.
Jury Notes: A community asset -this project succeeds on many levels. A tour de force of mixed use urbanism that packs the ambition of a masterplan into a half block. The architecture is carefully detailed, one with the landscape, and delightfully weird – perfect for an arts district.