Institute of the Culinary Arts

metropolitan state community college institute of culinary arts exterior view

Institute of the Culinary Arts

Community College's Institute for Culinary Arts Elevates Culinary Education and Community Engagement

As one of the top 15 culinary arts programs in the United States, the Metropolitan Community College Institute for the Culinary Arts is one of the most respected programs in the country. With over 500 students enrolled each year, the Institute’s vision places it at the center of culinary education for students, local businesses, the surrounding community and outward. The school selected HDR to renovate and design an addition to the Institute of Culinary Arts to cement it as a community dining destination, growing and modernizing the institute and making it more visible and accessible to students and the public.

Our team designed 37,000 square feet of renovation and addition that allows the Institute to grow to approximately 10,000 square feet of instructional and service space that will rival expensive national programs while providing excellence in education at MCC at an affordable cost.

The design is a modern interpretation of the college’s existing architecture as well as a precursor to the development of the neighbourhood, with brick matching the row housing on campus and exterior glass and copper materials often used in culinary arts. Kitchens are transparent to both interior and exterior, allowing visitors, students, instructors and the community to see the work on display, while allowing those inside to visual relief looking out.

Other features of the building include:

  • Laboratories
  • Classrooms
  • Bakery
  • Office and support areas
  • Food production spaces
  • Conference space
  • Retail space

The facility also serves as a grand access point to the Fort Omaha Campus and extends the exciting North Omaha Development Project, creating a welcoming and exciting area for the campus and surrounding community. The dynamic transparent south façade of the building greets visitors entering from the primary thoroughfare, with the road running along the building’s west elevation before turning east toward the main entrance allowing for an experience of all sides of the building. Other design features include painted copper panels encasing the building’s second-level conference space. Entrance areas are designated with low-iron transparent glass panels.

The project is LEED certified with a 15,000-gallon rainwater collection tank used for irrigation, while high albedo pavement and roofing are used to minimize urban heat island effect.

metropolitan state community college institute of culinary arts exterior view
Metropolitan Community College

Omaha, NE
United States

37,000 sf (3,400 m²)