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Omaha Magazine

For Those About to Rock: Stonebrook Exterior Salutes You

May 23, 2023 02:54PM ● By Chris Hatch
in the office stonebrook's exterior b2b june july 2023

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

Stonebrook's Exterior Photo Gallery [11 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
Much like the wild pyrotechnics of a heavy-metal rock concert at Madison Square Garden or the perfectly imperfect manes of an ’80s hair band, Stonebrook Exterior’s corporate offices don’t just catch your eye, they demand your attention. 

The residential and commercial exterior construction company occupies a custom-built commercial building at 8905 Cornhusker Hwy. in northeast Lincoln, Nebraska.

Consider their headquarters’ bold exterior with the neon-adjacent orange and prairie sky-blue wall jutting out on the north end of the building. The architectural feature evokes the ‘fire and ice’ of Stonebrook Exterior’s Co-CEOs, Steve Kunkel  and Jason Reinke. Kunkel said he’s the ‘fire,’ the self-described gas pedal, who has rocket-propelled the company to growth, while Reinke is the ‘ice,’ the level-headed brake pedal, when all that combustion engine heat starts running too hot. 

Stonebrook Exterior’s offices are equally striking inside, paying tribute to the most American of music—rock ’n’ roll. A tour through the premises reveals huge murals of some of the greatest musicians of the genre in common areas, rock band-themed conference rooms, and more.

For instance, employees can walk up the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to visit the CFO’s office—the Eddie Money room—before making a stop at the ‘Gym Morrison’ (referencing The Doors’ dynamic frontman) to lift a few weights. Or they can gather inspiration from Freddie Mercury himself on the way to the Nirvana breakout room, where many (teen) spirited debates play out. The room is labeled with a faux-vinyl record marker. When they need a bathroom break, they can duck into the ‘Johnny’ Cash or the June Carter restrooms.

Working with Lincoln-based architecture firm Studio951 (a division of Shive-Hattery), architectural designer Codah Gatewood and Stonebrook combined their solo acts on the project, creating the kind of unified vision usually reserved for a platinum-selling album.

“The project is, as we call it, a ‘3D business card’ for Stonebrook Exterior,” Gatewood said. “They provide, manufacture, and install materials for the exterior envelope of buildings. This building was designed to showcase those products and the work that they do. By utilizing different types and manufacturers of exterior materials, we attempt to showcase what Stonebrook does.”

“We really drew the concepts of what we wanted as a building, displaying the products that we make within our organization,” Kunkel concurred. “Displaying the products that we are distributors for…we developed a design and took it to Studio [951]. They said, ‘Love it.’”

With their building serving as a stone signature, a kind of physical calling card, Kunkel and Gatewood did what so many great rock bands before them have done: they borrowed from other artists. And they’re not shy about who their influences are, either.

“We (virtually) toured AMC Theaters out of Kansas City,” Kunkel said. “Loved their building—it’s where a lot of our design ideas came from. We toured Western Windows in Phoenix, we toured EcoStar in Buffalo, Firespring, and Hudl.”

“Steve and his team were great partners on the project.” Gatewood said. “[…] They played a big part in providing information and specifications for the workers and their equipment. It was a pleasure to work with the team of exterior envelope experts that they are. I learned about their process, their products, and soaked up as much knowledge of exterior products they provide as much as I could.”

The inside of the building allowed Kunkel and Reinke to put their love of music on full display.
“To me, the interior and exterior perpetually inform each other. They work in tandem,” Gatewood said. 

During one of their discussions on design—a MÖtley-Crüe-approved session involving a particular kind of creative fuel (“bushels and bushels of Busch Light,” Kunkel said, laughing), the Stonebrook partners  had a lightbulb moment.

“I’m a huge rock ‘n’ roll fan, and so is Jason,” Kunkel said. “So, we’re gonna do everything rock ‘n’ roll! We wanted to create a building where we could attract talent and where kids could relate to our building and to what we are doing. And we wanted to create different kinds of spaces where people could work.”

Gatewood said the experience of working on the Stonebrook project was an especially gratifying one. 

“While I utilize creativity on each and every project I work on,” Gatewood said, summing it up like the last splashy cymbals smash at the end of a song, “Stonebrook brought a more specific level of creativity that I thrived on.” 

Kunkel and Reinke hope their employees will thrive in the creative environment they’ve built as well.

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This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  
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