Gensler's new college building for UNO aims to unite the university with the wider community
Mammel Hall is the newly-built home of the College of Business Administration (CBA) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). The college moved from the main campus to the burgeoning south campus, a large swath of land purchased by the university years ago.
Gensler's goals for the project included giving a larger, more modern space to the CBA, which had been located in a building where the largest public space was the stairwell. However, the design and programming also needed to speak to something more visionary - the idea of engagement. The architects needed to engage students and create a sense of community inside this remotely-sited campus building to keep students stimulated and focused inside its three storeys and 120,000 sq ft. Engaging the community was also important, acknowledging the building's site at the very edge of 'town and gown', and establishing the building as a gateway between the two.
The architects were also required to engage a larger set of users - notably future students and benefactors - past, present and future. A clear departure from the dark, tight spaces in the old College of Business Administration, Mammel Hall's atrium gives students an open, light-filled 'neighbourhood' - and a segue to cafes and coffee
houses in the mixed-use development beyond the building's doors. Outside, a circular plaza provides a buffer zone between inside and the 'town', a place for students to lounge and meet alfresco. At the
center of that circle-inside Mammel Hall-is a special recognition pillar honouring donors, which are another key user.
The enrollment has increase substantially for the business school and also proved to increase general enrollment at the college. The new building and its location has proven to be a unique draw on campus
for new students.