There’s a touch of world history going on in the University of Oregon’s shiny new football operations center, the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, opened this month in Eugene. From black slate floors imported from Portugal, ventilated lockers from Germany and marble showers from Italy—not even counting the Ferrari leather for chairs in the two auditoriums—players can learn a little about high-end construction materials while devouring the fast-moving playbook.
Led by ZGF Architects, Firm 151 and Hoffman Construction, the new 145,000-sq-ft center rises six stories on campus, sited right next to Oregon’s legendary Autzen Stadium. Known for Nike’s on-field design sense, Nike co-founder Phil Knight funded the project and directed construction.
Complete with a locker room, offices, players’ lounge, meeting rooms, auditoriums and cafeteria, no expense was spared in creating the high-end center meant to attract recruits from across the nation and pamper the players once they’ve arrived on campus.
Obviously the high-end finishes easily distinguish the center from most projects, but the attention to detail on the interior certainly impresses. The design called for white composite terrazzo floors in the locker room and cafeteria because the material resists infection; specific Oregon colors literally weave throughout the building, such as green stitching in chairs used for the defensive players and yellow thread for the offensive group; Nike football leather employed throughout the building; and the ventilated lockers that have special spring-loaded slots to store shoulder pads and helmets.
The outside of the building only hints at the detail found within. Clad in black glass—dubbed “sunglasses” for the building—and surrounded by water, similar to another top-of-the-line on-campus facility, the Jaqua Center, the structure offers mystery for those who have yet to enter.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He also writes for TIME, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.