Previous Firms  /  Research  /  Research & Education   /  UNMC Durham Research Towers I & II* (HDR Inc. Architect of Record)

Designed to fit the curved site on the western edge of the UNMC campus, the 286,506-gross-square-foot Durham Research Center I consists of ten stories—two below grade—of office, laboratory and classroom space. The facility features a 319-seat auditorium that serves as a transition space between the main building and the street. This world-class facility was designed to combine function with aesthetics. Curtain wall reflects office and circulation, brick façade at the research labs, Limestone at pedestrian scaled base. It has a distinctive exterior and interiors with abundant natural light and a feeling of spaciousness. Finished in 2004, the success of the DRC I led to a ten-story twin tower, DRC II completed four years later. This second 242,000-square-foot facility also houses research laboratories and offices including support space for the College of Medicine, The Eppley Cancer Institute, the Nebraska Public Health Lab and the University of Nebraska Center for Biosecurity. Mirroring the first structure, it designed to offer maximum natural light like DRC I, housing storage and supporting spaces internally, allowing each lab and offices to have glazing. Additionally, the main elevator lobby and the elevators themselves are glass-backed. Student and researcher interactive area on the first floor features a translucent moveable partition to define and enclose while maintaining the natural light filtering into the space. The towers complete the west entrance of the UNMC Campus and are fronted by a landscaped courtyard.

University of Nebraska Medical Center


Omaha, Nebraska

Chris Barnwell

10 levels 286,506 sf
116 lab bays
319 seat auditorium
$77 m

10 levels 252,179 sf
98 lab bays
Interactive space between towers
$74 million

Chris Barnwell's role was Project Design Architect for the UNMC Durham Research Towers I & II while with HDR Inc.

Photography by Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc. images 1-6
Photography by Kessler Photography. images 7-8