Holland Performing Arts Center

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Holland Performing Arts Center

A permanent home for the most ephemeral of the arts, the Holland Performing Arts Center is a commanding physical symbol of Omaha’s commitment to the musical arts and the City’s ongoing cultural renaissance.

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The notational abstraction of a musical score inspired various techniques for interpreting time, rhythm and composition three-dimensionally. Through experiments with scale and surface, this lyrical approach synchronized the arrangement of the building’s physical and experiential characteristics.

Richard Olcott, Design Partner
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Responding to the downtown context, the urban design strategy reinforces Omaha’s characteristic patterns of pedestrian and vehicular movement, enhances the site’s relationship with a landscaped, linear park, and establishes connections with surrounding buildings.

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Sheathed in zinc and glass, the elevated, horizontal volume is punctuated by a solid and a void. The stone-clad concert hall volume is capped by a clerestory range that fills the hall with natural light during the day, adding a sensual dimension to the experience; at night, the hall appears as an illuminated lantern – a beacon to the arts. The void is a protected and publicly accessible terraced courtyard at ground level.

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Moveable platforms allow the classical shoebox-shaped concert hall to adjust to a range of music and audience types. Wood and plaster finishes foster a warm, intimate ambience throughout. The flexible, “black box” chamber music hall can be used as a banquet or rehearsal space. The courtyard functions as a third performance venue as well as an outdoor reception and event space.

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The multi-level, glass-enclosed lobby creates a visual connection between the park and the landscaped courtyard and functions as an arrival space for ticketing, patron services, café and retail. A grand stair overlooking the courtyard leads to the upper-level lobby promenade and provides access to the concert and chamber music halls.

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Omaha, NE
175,000 GSF
2,000-seat Concert Hall, 400-seat Black Box Chamber Music Hall, Semi-enclosed Outdoor Performance and Event Garden, Exhibit Space, Retail, Café, Donors' Lounge, Green Room, Dressing and Rehearsal Rooms, Administrative Offices


Design Partner
Richard Olcott
Management Partner
Timothy Hartung
Consulting Design Partner
James S. Polshek, 1930-2022
Project Manager
Kevin McClurkan
Charmian Place
Project Designer
Jack Phillips
Design Team
Felicia Berger, Elliott Hodges, Lauren Kleinberg, Chris Koon, Marisa Kurtzman, Megan Miller, William Rosebro, Ivan Rupnik, Rainier Simoneaux, Zoe Small, John Zimmer
HDR Architecture, Inc.


  • 2007
    • USITT Merit Award, United States Institute of Theatre Technology, 2007
  • 2006
    • Merit Award, AIA/New York State, 2006
    • Building Team Award, Building Design & Construction Magazine, 2006


  • 2007
    • Andersen, Kurt. "Culture Club: Omaha's indie arts scene is putting this flyover town on the map" (The New York Times Magazine, 2007)
    • Rinaldi, Ray Mark. "Yes, you, too, should escape to Omaha" (The Denver Post, 8/7/2007)
  • 2005
    • Keenan, John. "Holland Center's debut puts on the ritz" (Omaha World Herald, 10/22/2005)
    • Palmer, Jane. "Review: Boys prove Holland Center rocks" (Omaha World Herald, 10/23/2005)
    • "Time to Celebrate" (Omaha World Herald, 4/13/2003)
  • 2006
    • "Holland Performing Arts Center" (Casa Brutus, 3/2006)
  • 2005
    • "Arts Center Nears Completion" (WOWT NBC, 10/10/2005)
  • 2003
    • Alsobrook, Ashley and Christopher Burbach. "Aim for performing arts center is to create a new Omaha classic " (Omaha World Herald, 4/13/2003)


HDR Architecture, Inc.
Brandston Partnership, Inc.
Poulin + Morris, Inc.
Kirkegaard Associates
Fisher Dachs Associates
Construction Manager
Kiewit Construction Co.
Tom Kessler, Albert Vecerka/Esto, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects