University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, Neb.
Construction Cost: $32.5 million
Area / Square Feet: 242,890
Occupancy Date: October 2010

First occupied in 1970, the HPER Building has been a constant workhorse, but it also was defined by long narrow corridors and program spaces devoid of natural light. The renovation and expansion created a highly functional facility with properly sized program spaces and controlled daylighting virtually everywhere. The building now encompasses the “canyon,” a physical passageway through the building that shelters pedestrians crossing campus while also visually exposing many of the program spaces, including the main lobby, the juice bar, the climbing wall, the MAC, gymnasia and the jogging track.

The project involved expanding the building in all directions, which has led to growth in numerous wellness-related programs, including virtually all facets of student recreation, intramural sports, injury prevention and care, and outdoor adventure programs.

Exterior renovations intentionally broke stride from the old, creating a strong visual icon for UNO’s north campus. Featuring brick, highly transparent glass and visually neutral aluminum wall panels, the entire facility fits well into the architectural context of the campus. The overall aesthetic presentation is especially bold at night. Because of the highly transparent exterior skin, the building radiates light, activity and excitement.