Three Projects Honored with AIA Central States Awards

BVH Architecture is pleased to announce that three recent projects were recognized by the Central States chapter of the American Institute of Architects with Design Excellence Awards. The restoration of M’s Pub/Mercer Building and the Columbarium at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church both received Citation Awards, and Scooter’s Coffee Corporate Headquarters received a Merit Award.

M’s Pub was originally designed by Architects Hartman, Morford, Bowen. It was originally constructed in 1972 for owner Mary Vogel in a four-story warehouse structure in Omaha’s historic Old Market. M’s quickly became an Old Market icon and a favorite dining destination for many Omahans. In January 2016, a gas line explosion and ensuing fire destroyed M’s Pub and much of the Mercer Building, leaving a burned-out shell. After convincing the City to hold off on demolishing the building, BVH and engineering consultants were engaged by the Mercer Management Co. to develop a stabilization plan. In late 2016, owner Ann Mellen decided to rebuild M’s Pub. Fortunately, the original plans were found, and after a year of construction, a new, but remarkably similar, M’s Pub reopened in November 2017. Among the accolades it has received, the jury commented, “It taps into the trauma of a devastating fire, and shows a community effort, almost ‘brick by brick’ that imbues the results with a special spirit.”

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church sought to establish a columbarium for its members on current grounds. A single, monolithic granite wall at the center of the project contains a network of niche cabinets that house individual urns, and the names of every individual interred in the wall are etched into the granite facing. Comments included, “The shadows cast by the wood framing give it cadence, and the reflectivity and play of light contribute to and reinforce its sense of simple power.”

Scooter’s Coffee is a rapidly growing company that needed a new corporate headquarters, which includes coffee and bakery production plus warehousing products that serve their current 187 retail locations across the US. The company desired greaterexposure as an Omaha, Nebraska-based company, and as a result, they purchased a building with Interstate 80 frontage. The design team transformed a generic building to function as a billboard on the main thoroughfare to and from the city. To satisfy their aggressive schedule, portions of the interior and exterior were selectively demolished, embracing the strategy to critically consider what must remain. The resulting space included offices, meeting spaces, and more that have helped the company recruit and retain a top tier, growing team. The jury commented, “what a striking project to have begun with a super banal building. Removing the awning and adding polycarbonate elements effectively transforms the building and provides a new interstitial space.”

BVH congratulates everyone who worked on these projects, with many thanks to our partners, consultants, and especially our clients. For more information on these and other BVH projects, visit