OMAHA, Neb.—A new mixed-use development in downtown Omaha, Nebraska will soon add the full-service Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District. The 333-room hotel managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts was designed by architecture firm LEO A DALY and built by JE Dunn. The 12-story glass building is a significant addition to the Nebraska city’s downtown skyline and complements the roofline of the Omaha Convention Center.
“At night, the building takes on an elegant glow,” said David Hawes, an architect with LEO A DALY. Winged corners on its south side enable 270-degree views of downtown Omaha. The full-service hotel will add more than 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting space as well as hospitality suites, a roof top swimming pool with bar/entertainment area, full-service restaurant and bar, and large fitness center to the city’s new Capitol District.
On the pedestrian level, the Omaha Marriott Downtown is accessible and transparent. “We were careful to create as much visual frontage as possible on the street level to allow people to see and be seen,” added Hawes. “The high ceilings make the lobby a ‘celebratory space’ with views to the convention center to the east, and the city skyline to the west.”
“Hotels are becoming social hubs, places to hang out before and after events, and just popular cultural hotspots in general. We wanted the design to encourage locals and visitors to mingle in a casual but sophisticated environment,” said Michelle Holmes, an interior designer with LEO A DALY. “The Marriott brand is based around a ‘great room,’ and that’s exactly what we wanted the lobby to be–a social space for the city.”
Comprising three main uses–lounge, dining room, and bar–the different portions of the grand lobby spill over into each other to create a cohesive but intimate gathering space. Local materials such as brick and iron bring the warehouse style of the Old Market into a sophisticated space, according to Holmes. Wood paneling hints at Omaha’s roots but is tailored with modern sophistication in keeping with Marriott’s aesthetic. “It’s all about layering textures – marrying old and new,” added Holmes.
The Capitol District forms a critical link between Omaha’s events district, Riverfront, Old Market, and the downtown core. “We wanted to create a vibrant, walkable enclave that is unlike anything else in downtown,” said Hawes. “The design invites visitors who may feel isolated in the events district to experience the real Omaha, while also creating a comfortable, active place for residents to live, work, and play.”
The Capitol District will be the first entertainment district in Omaha, taking advantage of a new city ordinance that allows alcoholic beverages outdoors. To complement the wide-open concept, the mixed-use design provides portals to entertainment that celebrates community use.