Sunset Elementary School, Merit Award winner, 2019 AIA Nebraska Excellence in Design competition.


Firm TACKarchitects

Entry Sunset Hills Elementary School

Location Omaha

Owner Sunset Hills Elementary School, Westside Community Schools

Photographer Tom Kessler

Summary The design team proceeded with a goal of creating an elementary school ready for the technology and learning needs of today’s students, while maintaining the feel of a small neighborhood school within the city. Through subtle use of color, areas within the building are easily identified by young students unable to read. Corridor spaces are activated with bright colors, and large learning areas outside the classroom allow students to engage with each other in all areas of the building. Views to the exterior are celebrated with large expanses of glass in public spaces, while windows in classrooms allow for daylight to enhance the student learning experience.

Jury comments This project is commendable in its approach to restraint and resources. The simple pallet creates an easy flow in the common areas, and clever deploying of the constellation of small windows in the gymnasium creates a playful effect on the interior and a strong visual interest on the exterior.


Core Bank Corporate Headquarters, Merit Award winner, 2019 AIA Nebraska Excellence in Design competition.


Firm Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture

Entry Core Bank Corporate Headquarters

Location Omaha

Owner Core Bank Corporate

Photographer Corey Gaffer Photography

Summary A showstopping office building in the suburbs. The project amplifies the company’s brand identity — strength and integrity — through an honest material palette and a simplified form. The bank’s new headquarters was designed in response to the company’s revitalized brand identity; a sleek and minimalist black-and-white logo package and a refreshed commitment to sustainability. The building’s location on the site allows for optimal solar orientation and an infusion of natural light throughout. A weathered zinc shawl floats above an all-glass base, while the interior features a double-height lobby with white oak accents, highlighted by a steel plate stair cantilevered from a velvet, exposed concrete cast-in-place core.

Jury comments We really enjoyed the interiors of this project. The refined palette and the material interactions are nicely composed. The contrast between the slick dark materials and the raw concrete highlights both beautifully. The main stair, with its straight ascent along the wall, creates a strong backdrop to the front entry and desk.


The Jewell, Architectural Detail Merit Winner, 2019 AIA Nebraska Excellence in Design competition

Architectural Detail

Firm HDR

Entry The Jewell

Location Omaha

Owner McKenna Group Productions

Photographer Dan Schwalm

Summary Paying homage to Omaha’s rich jazz history and its namesake — local music impresario Jimmy Jewell — The Jewell seeks to create a unique experiential environment while maintaining premium acoustics. The sequence of arrival to the venue prepares the patron for an intimate acoustic and visual experience. An absorptive velour curtain follows the sloped entrance corridor, past blue-tinted floor to ceiling photo murals of historic jazz icons, then rounding the corner provides a first, striking glimpse of the stage. Undulating peaks and valleys of walnut veneer plywood are formed in a jewel-cut geometric pattern, diffusing and scattering sound from the stage. With fanned seating on three sides and tables placed in close proximity to the stage for increased intimacy, patrons feel part of the show.

Jury comments This jazz club renovation was a fun project to review. The project ties together the original owner’s surname and creates a recognizable concept that becomes the backdrop for performances. We were drawn to the faceted detail of the wood acoustic treatment at the stage. This detail stood out as thoughtful and well-crafted.

Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.