Over the past two years, The Union has been working closely with Nancy Novak + Kylie Von Seggern and the team at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture to re-imagine the Blue Lion and create our new 16,000 sq. ft. facility.
The main floor of the facility will house The Wanda D. Ewing Gallery, the majority of our Co-Op Studios, and a black box theater space. It is also the location of our art library, reception area and staff offices. The Union will share this floor with two commercial tenants, information on those spaces can be found at bluelionomaha.org
The second level of the building is mainly dedicated to our Fellows. Each artist studio is a beautiful work space with lots of natural light, and we'll have one acoustically sound space to better support Fellows working with music. The floor will also serve as the location for our Digital Design Lab -- a new Co-Op Studio space featuring iMacs with access to the Adobe Creative Cloud, a large format printer + scanner. There is also space to gather in a lounge space that overlooks the lower level atrium.
The lower level of the building is completely dedicated to our youth programs -- nearly 3000 sq. ft. of studio space! The work space includes a galley kitchen so that we can continue to provide healthy meals for the children we serve. It will also house a small ceramics studio. The layout of the building provides lots of natural light on this level -- creating an open + bright environment in the studios.
The interior of the building will have an open layout, utilizing glass to create strong sight lines into all of the work spaces and gallery. The majority of the walls will remain exposed brick, and the color palette is a clean black + white with pickled wood accents. We're cleaning up the exterior of the building, and the storefronts (northern building) will be restored to have a vintage feel that is more inline with the former design of the building. There is a courtyard located to the east of the building, which is being renovated for use as outdoor program space for The Union and our garden will sit just to the southeast of the Blue Lion on a currently vacant 6300 sq. ft. lot. Click here to see artist renderings of our new gallery, reception area and youth studios.