This pair of new buildings combines a facility for a non-profit dramatic theatre, a mixed-use building and a new public open space. Conceived as a new arts hub in a rapidly changing district near downtown Omaha, the new theatre is part of a block being designed by Min | Day to include also Boxcar 10, a mixed-use building to containing a restaurant, loft-apartments and private parking. The remaining site quadrant is designated a public open space known as Green in the City. The design of the open space will be selected by design competition.
In its twenty-fifth anniversary year the Blue Barn Theatre engaged Min | Day to design a ground-up future home for the innovative theatre company. The new building increases capacity of for the company while at the same time maintaining the upstart scrappiness and risk-taking ethos of the Blue Barn.
At the core of the Blue Barn is the theatre, a hybrid of proscenium and black box types. A large, custom door opens the backstage to a semi-enclosed outdoor performance area which in turn connects to the Green in the City open space. This innovative configuration supports a variety of theatre configurations from the conventional proscenium to the less common alley theatre and environmental theatre forms. The remaining program is organized concentrically about the house and stage with the back-of-house operations arranged along the south side of the building against the party wall with Boxcar 10. Primary materials include painted metal siding, unit masonry, an artificial turf roofing and a unique weathering steel & exposed rebar cladding system.
The combined projects are scheduled for completion in 2015.