Submitted by ZGF Architects LLP

This 40,000-sq-ft center incorporates a range of learning environments, from small spaces for individual tutorials to a large 150-seat auditorium, encouraging collaboration and peer interaction.

Photo: Ron Cooper

Because the site is situated along a busy campus entryway, designers chose a box-within-a-box concept with four public facades and no back door, to reinforce its importance within the landscape as an iconic element.

With the ventilated double skin glass exterior, floor-to-ceiling vision glass allows natural daylight to flood the interior space while a stainless steel screen forms a layer within the glass cavity. The stainless steel screen ensures occupant privacy while allowing visitors to see outside to the aspen trees, gardens and other landscaping. The double skin wraps a blanket of warm air around the building and mitigates the highs and lows of temperature fluctuations. This insulating facade also creates superior acoustics, helping create an inwardly focused atmosphere conducive to study and learning. LED lights at the base of the walls perimeter illuminate the exterior at night, turning the skin into a translucent glowing box and creating a sense of community.

Since 85% of the building area is glass, sophisticated energy and lighting models were conducted to maximize thermal and acoustic performance.

Materials such as exposed concrete and Oregon White Oak relate to the Northwest region, as does the seamlessly integrated artwork. An atrium forms the heart of the building, with walls infused with graphic displays that relay the heritage of athletics at the University, including notable former student atheles such as Ken Kesey, Ann Bancroft and Nike co-founder Phil Knight. It also includes a scoreboard-inspired wall listing upcoming tutorial appointments for student-athletes.

Owner: University of Oregon
Architect: ZGF Architects LLP
General Contractor: Hoffman Construction
Engineers: Harper Houf Peterson Righellis; KPFF Consulting Engineers; Interface Engineering
Consultants: Altermatt Associates; Arup; Benson Industries; Charles Anderson Landscape Architecture; Waterline Studios