Union Bank Place

Union Bank and Trust

Union Bank Place

The Union Bank Place, nestled in the heart of downtown Lincoln, Nebraska on 13th and “O” Streets, is a historic downtown banking center. Originally known as the NBC Bank Center and most recently the Wells Fargo Center, Union Bank and Trust desired to revive the banking center and make their new location a hub for small businesses.

The building was originally built in 1976 and designed by IM Pei. This unique Nebraska-shaped building has a rich banking history and architectural detail including 93 windows signifying Nebraska’s 93 counties. The goal was to seamlessly blend the historical aspects with some modern touches designed to keep up with banking needs now and in the future.

The overall fundamentals of the design were to do no harm and preserve the original interior architecture and honor the original intent of the space – to be designed as a public space that encourages public access. Union Bank requested the space to be activated for the community, keep the feel of Nebraska and create a local, warm and inviting first floor lobby and community space.

Sinclair Hille Architects worked to mix the new elements with the original designs. Wood built elements were locally sourced and created to contrast the shapes from the original hard and linear to round and soft. The end finish of the wood is very similar in color to the concrete which compliments the concrete and softens the look to make it more welcoming. The original tree was incorporated into the space by adding additional live plants and lighting to highlight the greenery and brighten the space. The lighting continues into the evening when it glows Union Bank blue.

Union Bank’s small business department was relocated to Union Bank place including a multipurpose space for local businesses to use for meetings and conferences and a small business hub including a space for small “pop-up” shops to sell their wares.

In addition to all of its unique offerings, Union Bank Place will also host a full-service branch — and a mortgage loan officer.

A second client, Stories coffee shop, was incorporated into the space. The exceptional collaboration with the client kept within their brand and fit their finishes within the design which became a significant element of the space.

The upper level Atrium provides an executive board room that over looks the banking lobby, coffee shop and community areas. The second floor includes offices for Union Bank’s student loan department.

Sinclair Hille worked with some amazing partners including the Union Bank Facilities department, Brester Construction, Engineering Technologies, Inc. and R.O. Youker. For the Stories Coffee Shop, we worked in collaboration with Breanna Cortinas from JH Interior Design studio out of Omaha, NE. 


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The design team from Sinclair Hille were sensitive to the unique needs of our business model and incorporated our requests within the overall design of our branch facility, a facility that was built not only for the needs of the bank branch today, but, also, with flexibility for what future demands might be.  We are extremely happy with the end product and appreciate the professionalism and attention to detail of the team from Sinclair Hille Architects.

Ryne Seaman

The Cattle National Bank & Trust Co.