top of page

Roof_Ground_Water_Winner! //

Omaha by Design


Results are in from Omaha’s Green in the City Competition, and we’re excited to announce that our team, comprised of el dorado inc, Urban Rain Design and the KSU Design+Make Studio won. The full press release follows.

Green in the City, launched last fall, is a national design competition to create an innovative urban community space in downtown Omaha. The site is adjacent to two projects under development in the 10th and Pacific block – the new home of the BLUEBARN Theatre and Boxcar 10, a mixed use building with a small parking area.

Min l Day, an architectural partnership with offices in Omaha and San Francisco, is designing the BLUEBARN Theatre and Boxcar 10 projects. Omaha philanthropist Nancy Mammel, the developer of Boxcar 10, has donated the land for the theatre and green space and is providing the lead gift for the Green in the City competition. Once the Green in the City project is complete, the BLUEBARN Theatre will assume ownership of the open space and will be responsible for its maintenance.

As winner of the competition, El Dorado Inc. will be awarded a design commission to complete the project pending approval of the sponsor and project stakeholders.

“On behalf of our design team, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Min l Day and the BLUEBARN Theatre to see the Green in the City competition through to fruition,” said David Dowell, principal with El Dorado Inc. “We truly enjoyed the competition process. It was well run and clearly supported by the community. The five final proposals were inspiring – each unique in their own way – and we’re honored to be in such talented company.”

The winning proposal, “Roof, Ground, Water,” begins with the visually arresting roof of the BLUEBARN Theatre. The goal is to create a roof corollary on the ground that’s flexible and accessible while showcasing the holistic management of stormwater on a development site. “On a poetic level, through the rigorous choreography of water flow from high to low, we are making gravity visible, acoustical and felt,” Dowell said.

The proposal also seeks to involve architecture and landscape architecture students from Kansas State University, where Dowell teaches, and construction management students from the University of Nebraska’s Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha.

Dowell said his team looks forward to spending more time in Omaha and joining the effort to expand the BLUEBARN Theatre for the next 25 years and beyond.

The competition netted more than 50 applications from across the country, said Connie Spellman, director of Omaha by Design. A jury of five landscape, art and design professionals narrowed the applications down to five finalist teams. The teams were then interviewed by the jury in Omaha earlier this month. Jury members are Porter Arneill, director/public art administrator, City of Kansas City; Jeff Day, Omaha-based principal, Min | Day; Robert Duncan, contemporary art collector and chairman emeritus, Duncan Aviation; Gina Ford, principal, Sasaki Associates; and Adam Price, executive director, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. An open house showcasing the five design proposals was held at KANEKO Jan. 21-24.

Project updates will be provided as plans for the green space are finalized and construction begins. For more information, contact Omaha by Design at 402.554.4010 or

Text by Omaha by Design

bottom of page