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Nicholas Bender Architectural Portfolio

Laurent Clerc Hall

bryan health

designers’ ink

crossroads at 72nd & dodge

Du Sable park


Du Sable Tower

professional associates ltd.

+ designers’ ink lincoln, ne

+ professional associates ltd. omaha, ne

professional work

North Elevation

Fireplace Detail

Enlarged Plan

First Level Plan

South Elevation

Enlarged Roof Plan

Interior Column Section A Roof Plan

Interior Column Section B

Patient Room Elevation

Patient Room Plan

lincoln, ne


Beginning with the master plan, the intention for the new Bryan Health building was to connect it not only with the existing hospital, but also with the rest of the medical campus. Utilizing a green belt to weave throughout the site was a stepping stone to formulate an architectural language around this theme of connectivity.

The theme of connection gave way to the idea of framing small scenes for the user, both inside the space and out. These framing devices were manipulated by certain programs, creaing a hierarchy that would suggest where and when these extrusions of framing would take place. The use of a structural grid created the organization system needed to begin adjusting how the program spaces would either conform to or break the grid. Not only did the grid help structurally and programmatically, it was also used to create an exterior skin that would react to program elements and shade the building.

The grid design was not only used exclusively on the exterior, but started to become woven into the ceiling, walls, and floors. These new panels on the interior were of a more abstracted design from the traditional grid, being divided multiple times to create a kaleidoscope effect. This would create triangular shapes that would react to interior conditions where walls met the ceiling, the floors, or new programs.

Fourth Level Plan

Second & Third Level Plan

First Level Plan

Sub-Level Plan

After the development of a deaf education program for the University of Nebraska - Omaha, the design began to incorporate the surrounding campus environment it would reside in. Situated on the main axis of pedestrian traffic through the school, two grids were created and mirrored off of the adjacent buildings. These were then used in conjuction with the pedestrian pathways to create a system with which the architecture could respond to, in plan as well as in section. Layering became important to take advantage of the unique hillside site.

First Level Plan

CROSSROADS 72nd & dodge___omaha, ne

The intersection at 72nd & Dodge in Omaha, NE, is considered to be one of the busiest intersections in the city, with more than 60,000 cars passing through daily. Since the intersection has a constant flow of traffic, this project envisions recreating this condition, but underground. This will open up the ground plane for a large green space, surrounded on the edges by office, retail, and living space. In developing the grid system for the underground intersection, research had to be done in order to design for the appropirate loads that the system would be holding. A steel truss system was chosen to help span the distances across the roads, but also lend itself to site interaction, where visitors and residents could walk through the trusses themselves. Programs could also be added to this system in these open spaces.

The idea of transition, being able to see from one layer to the next envelopes the project, beginning where the local traffic will be underground, up to the ground plane, where visitors can see through light wells into the tunnel below. The next layer would be seeing into the lobby space of the office building, letting visitors see inside, as well as enabling workers to see outward onto the green space, and even down into the tunnel space.

lincoln, ne


ROOFscapes intially started out as an exploration of the hyper-curve and folded-truss structuraly systems. It was then integrated into a revitalization project of a dead stripmall condition. Research was conducted to create a musical-oriented program using the hyper-curves, and how they react to sound when bent in certain ways. Decible levels were researched to show the effects the program could possibly have on the surrounding site, and how to prevent negative reaction.

chicago, il


The original site for the Chicago Spire lies vacant and unsused, with the city unsure of a direction to be chosen. The Du Sable Grid Park would rectify this problem, giving the land a boost in activity and visitors. Utilizing the surrounding area, as well as the natural water outlining the site, the park would transform into another must-see stop in Chicago. The park is composed of two colliding and layered grids, one following Lake Shore Drive as it bisects the site, and another following the river boundary to the east. This fusion creates many opportunities for outdoor rooms, including an interpretive learning center, a “tree room�, and allowing ample room for a pleasant stroll along the boardwalk.

chicago, il


The rectangular grid of Chicago lends itself to the Du Sable Park conditions, with different grids colliding that embrace one another, constantly shifting between problem and resolution. Du Sable Park has a similar problem, with boundaries on the west side being a residential neighborhood, Lake Shore Drive cutting through the middle of the site, and the Chicago River to the east.

Each edge has a different situation, where these grids collide and then resolve theif differences. These circumstances create boundaries for the site, establishing a grid following Lake Shore Drive and another following the river. This clash of grids is a driving force for the park and tower design.

Using this collision, the grid fabric begins to break, turning simple squares into complex geometries. This break shows the erosion of the grids, carving out the ground plane as well as the floor plates as they rise up the building. The faรงade of the tower mimics a cliff bashed repeatedly with wind and water. This erosion chisels the tower, as if losing bits and pieces of itself to the winds off Lake Michigan. Layers of the building are unearthed as certain parts dig deeper into the sides than others, giving people views of the inner workings of the building.

Nicholas Bender Graduate Architectural Portfolio  

This is my graduate portfolio from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Nicholas Bender Graduate Architectural Portfolio  

This is my graduate portfolio from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.