Showpiece for a student athleticism

26 Feb 2010

University of Oregon sets a gold standard for NCAA mandated academic services for athletes

The University of Oregon’s new 40,000 sq ft, John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes is a state-of-the-art facility that contributes to recruitment of new athletes and the retention and success of Oregon’s 520 student athletes. The design is intended to support introspection, study and learning – a concept reinforced by a Birch 'forest' on the North side and a reflecting pool to evoke a 'garden of the mind' as a fertile and conducive place for learning.

The facility opened in January 2010 and includes a public café, 114-seat auditorium, 35 tutor rooms, 25 faculty/advising offices, a conference room, flexible classroom, computer lab, graphics lab, 3D teaching labs, library, student lounge, tutor lounge, staff lounge, study carrels for all freshmen and metered parking. The central atrium includes an academic hall of fame that recognizes past, present and future student athletes. Authenticity to the student’s experience is a key design driver. For example, the tile pattern in the restrooms is the visual sound wave representation of the Oregon Duck’s announcer, who starts every football game with 'It never rains at Autzen Stadium.'

The building’s steel and glass cubic structure is created with a ventilated 'double skin' glass exterior. Floor to ceiling vision glass allows natural daylight to flood the interior space and a stainless steel screen forms a layer within the glass cavity. Externally, the stainless steel screen provides occupant privacy; internally there is complete visual transparency toward the landscape and the gardens. The double skin wraps a blanket of warm air around the building and mitigates the highs and lows of temperature fluctuations. This insulating façade also creates superior acoustics, helping create an atmosphere conducive to study and learning. LED lights at the base of the wall’s perimeter illuminate the exterior at night, turning the skin into a translucent glowing box.

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