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John E. Jaqua Academic Center For Student Athletes: Barcelona

PROJECT DETAILS



Donor The facility is the result of a generous gift from Phil and Penny Knight to encourage academic achievement along with athletic performance. The building is named after John E. Jaqua, who was a varsity athlete at Pomona College, war hero, successful farmer, revered lawyer, founding board member of Nike, adored father/grandfather and longtime supporter of the University of Oregon. Jaqua’s legacy is meant to awaken every generation to look itself in the eye and be the best it can be, and his namesake represents a challenge to student-athletes to fulfill their promise. Donor recognition in the facility is subtly treated, as names are etched into glass on an entry wall panel. These names are only visible to viewers who stand in front the wall, which is on a motion sensor. Names disappear when viewers are away.  Design Concept The notion of a fertile, natural environment to invigorate and inspire learning was the premise on which the design concept was based. The glass structure rests on a “table of water” and a birch forest celebrates the region’s natural environment. A “double wall” façade addresses acoustic isolation, thermal insulation, and control of available daylight within the building. The walls consist of five elements that create a dynamic response to orientation while reinforcing the concepts of transparency and connectivity. A prismatic, vertical stainless steel screen within this façade provides shading, thermal comfort, and ability for heat harvesting (which reinforces the natural convection within the vessel) as well as visual privacy for the inhabitants. The glazed façade and interior spaces are composed on a rigorous module to achieve an uninterrupted visual connection between internal rooms and the larger garden beyond. The reflectivity of the glass and water obscure the boundary between the building and surrounding landscape. Interior capturing the uo experience Authenticity to the University of Oregon student experience was a key design driver. As is the celebration of the success of student-athletes in the pursuit of knowledge and athletic achievement. An atrium forms the “heart” of the building. The atrium walls are infused with graphic displays that relay the heritage of athletics at the University. It also includes a scoreboard-inspired wall listing upcoming tutorial appointments for student-athletes.  Through the seamless integration of art, environmental graphics and architecture, the facility serves as a pantheon of student athletic achievements. For example, the “A Few Who Just Did It” wall celebrates the post-graduate academic achievements of notable former student-athletes, including the faces of author Ken Kesey, Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Ann Bancroft (the first woman to cross both the North and South Poles), engraved in 8x8 square oak blocks. On another atrium wall, a three-story mural is constructed of 10,000 small 3x3 photos of student-athletes acid-etched onto stainless steel and assembled in a large-scale pixilated pattern such that Albert Einstein’s face emerges when viewed from a distance. This mural depicts the life of student-athletes at the University, dating the building as circa 2009 when the photos were captured. Other elements include floor engravings of Academic All-American honorees, a color and sandblasted glass wall celebrating PAC-10 All Academic recipients and stair well that contains the names of more than 4,000 lettermen that graduated from the University between 1945 and 2009. Many of the building exhibits will continue to evolve over time. In one example, the atrium lounge displays the Emerald, Jackson and Higdon awards. These awards are given by the University each year to top student-athletes in the area of scholastic ability, community service and sportsmanship. They were redesigned in cast bronze by contemporary Spanish artist Rosa Serra; she is renowned for her internationally-exhibited sculptures and Olympic art. Her collection was displayed at the Barcelona Olympics and now is housed in Lucerne at the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters. These University awards provide a stunning display for  visitors to interact with current and past winners. For more on this project, check out our next issue of Architecture256 e-magazine

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