The Veteran Affairs Ambulatory Care Center, located in Omaha, Nebraska, is a place where America’s Veterans in the Heartland can receive holistic care. This is a place of calming and a safe space for our Veterans, and their families, to receive the care they deserve while saluting their valor at the same time. Freedom & Sacrifice, DUTY, and Honor are present in the metal, limestone and glass pane walls.
The building is clad in limestone panels, representing the enduring principle of DUTY. Our service men and women answered the call to DUTY when serving in the Armed Forces and touching the soil in nearly all corners of the world. Limestone, a sedimentary formation, was a clear parallel to the metaphor of soil. Light gray limestone panels were detailed with long, horizontal joints, various course heights, and multiple surface textures to represent the layers of conflict, wars and missions our soldiers have dutifully served, the soil they bring home from these lands, and the soil they return to. The interior limestone panels, a durable resource, also represent protection, separating the public concourses from the private care rooms. When veterans are at their most vulnerable, they’ll find themselves protected by the limestone wall.
The inspiration piece selected by the design team was a fleuri cut single sample. The design intent was to bring out the grain structure present in the single piece and incorporate it into the entirety of the wall. By means of multiple textures and finishes, the banding of the light gray horizontal stone panels mimic the grain structure of that single inspiration piece. To contrast the horizontal panels in both color and boding, darker gray panels were detailed at the interior staircase with longer vertical joints.
Hundreds of individual and unique panel dimensions were detailed, creating “random” horizontal jointing to avoid a repeating pattern. Due to this design requirement, a high level of organization during fabrication and packaging was expected to assist an efficient processing and setting of panels on site.
Interior panels were delivered and set during winter months. Prior to installation, pallets of packaged panels needed to be relocated to one of three floors via crane before windows were set. This process occurred during a tight delivery timeline and required careful coordination to ensure correct panels were packaged together by floor and delivered ahead of window installation.