oxbow animal health | papillion, nebraska


Oxbow Animal Health, Papillion, NE

A firm’s relationship with a client is like a marriage. It’s a relationship built on communication, trust, challenges and compromise. After establishing a strong working relationship and understanding of Oxbow Animal Health’s wants and needs for a new office, warehouse and operations facility, Davis Design proposed – a proposal for architectural, engineering, interior design and construction administration services to bring Oxbow’s new home to life. And as the saying goes, we thoughtfully incorporated something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue into the design and finishing touches.

Something Old: From the beginning, the Oxbow team communicated how the old barn, where it all began, was the foundation for their company culture and it was a space that tied the departments together. As additions were made to the Murdock, Nebraska campus to keep up with the growth of the operation, the core of collaboration began to fade. Additionally, the barn was home to many artifacts including an original ‘oxbow’ the owner requested to keep on display. The new atrium was born out of these needs. It’s a commons area that serves as a collaborative working space for employees, while providing a warm welcome to visitors and customers, as well as showcasing the history of the old farm.

Something New: While the facility itself is new, so is much of the technology incorporated into the production area. At one time, the Oxbow team used brooms to move product down the chutes off a plywood platform. Now, Oxbow has the space to incorporate cutting edge technologies, equipment and ventilation systems to increase production, safety and efficiencies. Overall, the design and engineering components embedded throughout the complex allow for continued growth.

Something Borrowed: Senior architect, Greg Smith, began sketching ideas for Oxbow’s atrium while on a retreat in Nebraska City, Nebraska. He found inspiration in his surroundings and started working with elements that would resonate with the large-scale production areas surrounding the atrium. “Inspiration is found in observation, but how you translate that inspiration to deliver a new vision is the fun part. Ideas turn into sketches and renderings that take shape in the form of a building that is unique and specific to the client’s needs,” related Greg Smith.

Something Blue: Sky blue, that is. Early on, the importance of introducing natural light was established by both the client and design team. In every area of the facility – the atrium, offices, conference rooms, community area, cafeteria and even the production facility – the beautiful, blue Nebraska sky peers into the building and compliments the natural elements throughout.

Davis Design has been honored to work alongside Oxbow Animal Health as they’ve transitioned into their new operation and we are thankful to have developed a relationship of not just a firm and client, but friendship, too. One we hope continues to grow.

“When growth required us to relocate Oxbow Animal Health from our family farm in Cass County to Omaha, I knew it wouldn’t be easy to say farewell to the location that had been home to multiple generations of family farming experiences and more than 30 years of company milestones. We all knew it would take a special partner to help us design a new facility that honored our history and culture. Our business had grown up in a barn, built by my great uncle, featuring a limestone foundation, German “peg” construction, large, exposed beams, and original wood floors complete with 100+ years of scrapes and scuffs telling the story of generations of honest farm work. 

From the very beginning, the Davis Design team embraced our desire to build a facility that paid homage to our company roots while incorporating essential modern design features such as ample natural light, spaces for employee collaboration, and considerable “flex space” that could be adapted and repurposed as needed. I can’t think of a better compliment than to say that our new facility felt like home from the day we moved in. The new facility features thoughtful architectural and design details that seamlessly connect past to present, with modern elements that are already supporting our continued growth and evolution. With the help of Davis Design, I can proudly say that Oxbow officially has a new home.”

John Miller, Oxbow Animal Health, CEO