The design of a near-IR spectrometer for the Gemini 8m telescopes is described. This instrument, GNIRS, provides coverage from 0.9 to 5.5 micrometers at several spectral resolutions and two pixel scales. Capabilities include an imaging mode intended primarily for acquisition, a cross- dispersed mode covering wavelengths from 0.9 to 2.5 micrometers , and provisions for an integral field unit. The design of the GNIRS is conservative, as it must meet tight schedule and resource constraints; it nonetheless provides high throughput and operational efficiency, minimal flexure, and the flexibility needed to support queue observing. The optics are a combination of diamond-turned metal optics for the fore-optics and collimator, and refractive optics for the cameras. The mechanism include a two-axis grating turret; all mechanism are deposited by means of internal detents. The instrument achieves low flexure within its weight budget by the use of a modular structure composed of cylindrical light-weighted sections into which individual mechanisms and optics modules are mounted. Extensive analyses of mechanical and optical performance have been performed. The GNIRS has passed its critical design review, and fabrication is now underway.