Omaha, Neb. — HDR project teams swept the health care, community and civic, and education categories at the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Great Plains Chapter's 2016 Interior Design Excellence Awards Competition.

THINK Whole Person Healthcare in Omaha won the healthcare category, and is one of the nation's first patient-centered "medical homes" focused on educating, monitoring, and treating patients in one central place. The six-story building houses primary care physicians and more than 500 other health care professionals. A hotel-like atrium welcomes patients with natural light and a stunning center staircase, and day-lighting, wood, and concrete combined with colors and textures provokes honesty in materials.

Winning the community and civic category, the University of Nebraska Omaha's Baxter Arena follows an interior concept of being an aggressive, yet minimal space that activates with use. Honesty in exposed finishes utilizes polished concrete, precast risers, painted steel, and low-iron glass, while mechanical and electrical components are carefully organized to avoid visual clutter. Limited use of color, material restraint, and careful attention to architectural detail allows the space to remain unassuming yet powerful for an unforgettable experience.

The University of Nebraska Lincoln's Manter Hall won the education category. A 25,000-square-foot renovation in the School of Biological Sciences reconfigured the size of the labs and total teaching space, while upgrading technology throughout. Students now have modern "active" learning spaces in a technology-rich environment.  Informal collaboration spaces and reconfigurable furniture foster increased connections among students and professors to stimulate new ideas.

Ross Miller, Assoc. AIA, designer/project coordinator for HDR's architecture firm in Omaha, also won an individual award in the product category for his design of an AIA recognition trophy series. His low-tech approach to trophy hardware provides an unpretentious, yet refined piece from one material and one detail, he explains. Fabricated from 10 gauge hot rolled steel, each trophy was laser-cut to size, bent 90 degrees by a press brake, laser-engraved, and then blackened with a wax finish. 

"This is an honor for HDR," says Mike Hamilton, design principal in Omaha. "It's meaningful for the clients we serve, our community, and all of those involved in our projects."

The IIDA Great Plains Chapter's 2016 Interior Design Excellence Awards Competition recognizes interior design excellence in Des Moines, eastern Iowa, and Omaha. Submissions are judged by a panel of impartial professionals based on individual requirements, as well as concept, innovation, and execution.