peter kiewit foundation environmental design


After thoughtful planning throughout his lifetime, the bulk of Peter Kiewit’s personal estate was set aside upon his death in 1979 to create a foundation to support charitable and public purpose projects in Nebraska and other limited geographic areas. Peter Kiewit Foundation pursues its mission through three impact areas, in which they invest in proven and promising programs, systemic solutions, capital projects, general operations, planning and capacity building, and policy development. To date, the foundation has honored Mr. Kiewit’s legacy by awarding nearly $670 million in grants primarily in three impact areas: Economic Growth and Opportunity, Thriving Places and Youth Pathways to Success.


Foundation leadership wanted employees to come to work and be reminded by their surroundings of why they do what they do, and why their work matters. The office environment, while lovely, was quite formal and did not articulate the foundation’s goals or impact within the community. We were tasked with creating a shared space that expresses the mission, history and impact areas, all of which were built on Peter Kiewit’s genius and philanthropic focus.


We endeavored to create an inspiring space that successfully brings the spirit and purpose of the foundation to life throughout the physical environment. New entrance signage was created to reflect the recently updated brand identity and hangs alongside a portrait of Mr. Kiewit. The lobby and waiting areas feature fine art and photography by artists in the community. For the boardroom, we designed a wall that showcases the historical significance of Mr. Kiewit’s remarkable life and efforts as both a business leader and philanthropist. It is the centerpiece of the environment and tells the magnificent story of why the foundation focuses on their three stated impact areas. Soon, the foundation’s mission and vision statements will be prominently displayed on the wall behind the reception desk.


Everywhere staff and visitors look, they are treated to a rich and inspiring visual journey of not only the historical significance of Peter Kiewit and his accomplishments, but the purpose of the important and truly meaningful work they do. Stakeholders are reminded of the measurable and lasting impact they make in the lives of the people they support in our shared community.