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Roof, Ground, Water

Our proposal begins with the visually arresting roof of the Bluebarn Theater. The artificial grass and folded, pitched planes suggest a fantastical lawn worthy of lounging upon. Sloping surfaces direct rainwater towards the edge of the roof, routing the precious resource somewhere lush, desirable and unseen. Combining a rich architectural material palette of exposed concrete, corten steel, steel re-bar and a saturated, pure blue, the theater presents both elegant forms and curious juxtapositions. We appreciate the freedom and boldness offered by our partner in occupying this soon-to-be-transformed block in Omaha, Nebraska.

Our goal is to create a roof corollary on the ground – a flexible and accessible place. The faceted ground planes west of the theater create a landscaped foreground for the blue outdoor theater volume. At the same time they offer a seasonally adjusting backdrop for the formal interior theater space. Corten steel edging holds the lawn along Pacific, scaling to architectural dimensions when needed. A comfortable lawn of Buffalo grass and Brome absorbs water and heat. It requires little maintenance. A small wedge of taller native grasses and wildflowers quietly suggests an inside and an outside to the greenspace. Rills collect overflow rainwater at the intersections of folding planes, directing it towards fragrant rain gardens. A select few Swamp White Oaks and Bloodgood London Plane Trees dot the western edge of the greenspace, providing shade, texture, interior volume and a ceiling-like surface to illuminate at night.

We are interested in establishing this project as a showcase in the holistic management of stormwater on a development site. We would also like to discuss how private development interfaces with the public realm, both experientially and as cooperative infrastructure. Throughout our proprosal we demonstrate how water flows from initial rainfall contact from the rooftop throughout the site, how it is slowed, captured and released through a series of overt and subtle stormwater facilities. As a practical matter we’re managing stormwater at both a macro and micro scale. On a poetic level, through the rigorous choreography of water flow from high to low we are making gravity visible, acoustical and felt.

Award Name

2014 Design Excellence Awards


Design + Make Studio

Kansas State University

el dorado inc


Omaha, NE

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