Kiewit Luminarium

Kiewit Luminarium exterior

Kiewit Luminarium

STEM-Inspired Center to Inspire Next Generation and Revitalize Omaha RiverFront

The Kiewit Luminarium is an innovative community space and learning environment that is part workshop, part museum. It serves as a dynamic space where people of all ages, identities, and backgrounds can explore extraordinary phenomena at the intersection of science, art, and human perception through interactive displays and engaging exhibits.

The interior space is designed to be warm and inviting to suggest that science is friendly, familiar and approachable. The interior walls are constructed with custom-milled 4-foot by 8-foot sheets of plywood that act as a “pegboard” for interactivity and modularity.

Discovery Center Model
Kiewit Luminarium model and elevation 

The building is thought of as a “container” like the classic Nebraska vernacular “machine-shed,” simple, honest, performative — where apertures in the aluminum exterior envelope strictly adhere to optimal shading based on the orientation of the façade. The building geometry emerged out of an apparent “grain” to the landscape that organizes the building into two forms. On the west, towards Downtown Omaha, it “lifts” off the ground, which creates an elevated “canvas” into the air and acts as a billboard to the city. The space under the cantilever then becomes a pedestrian space — a large bus stop for group collection and lingering. The east form along the river anchors into the site along the riverfront boardwalk. The vertical shading fins along the east provide exciting glimpses into the interior, thus animating the façade experience as pedestrians meander the riverwalk.

The privately-funded, community-backed science center aims to become a family-friendly destination, serving as a cultural amenity for Omaha that helps inspire children’s interest in STEM.

Kiewit Luminarium exterior
Location

Omaha, NE
United States

Size
82,000 sf (7,618 m²)
Markets

Awards

Honor Award (2023)
Excellence in Architecture, Honors and Awards Gala
American Institute of Architects Nebraska Chapter
Honoree (2023)
Entertainment Category, Best of Year Design Awards
Interior Design Magazine
Honor Award (2023)
Excellence in Architectural Detail, Honors and Awards Gala
American Institute of Architects Nebraska Chapter
Honor Award (2023)
Excellence in Architecture, Honors and Awards Gala
American Institute of Architects Central States Region