Knight Campus will begin to take shape with selection of architects

January 18, 2017 - 5:15am

The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is moving from idea to reality, with selection of the architectural team that will design the project.

Bora Architects of Portland and Ennead Architects of New York will team up for the project, after being selected through a competitive selection process.

“One of the many things we are excited about with this selection is Bora and Ennead’s focus on sustainable practices, as well as their emphasis on a collaborative design process that centers on ‘place’ and environmental context,” said Patrick Phillips, acting executive director of the Knight Campus. “This was an incredibly important and difficult decision. We were thrilled to have many top firms seek out the opportunity, which we believe speaks to the overall enthusiasm that exists around the Knight Campus.”

Other reasons cited for the selection were:

  • Demonstrated strength in laboratory design and the organizational variables necessary to create a high-quality lab building;
  • A commitment to collaboration, as defined by the vision of the Knight Campus and focused on creating spaces that provide opportunities for the cross connection of different research disciplines;
  • A strong, combined team, with clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of each firm;
  • The impressive work of Todd Schliemann, lead designer, and John O’Toole, principal in charge, who have a history of creating high quality, visionary architecture in university campus environments, with projects like ones at Weill Cornell Medicine, University of Michigan, Stanford and the University of Texas Austin.
  • Very strong sub consultant list with a combination of technical experts as well as firms that have distinct knowledge about the campus.

During peak construction, the Knight Campus will directly contribute $99.7 million in annual economic activity to the Oregon economy, which will support more than 1,300 jobs. When the project is implemented, it will drive nearly $80 million in annual economic activity statewide and support more than 750 family-wage jobs. Its full time research staff of about 300 will include 30 top-tier scientists and their support teams and it will be home to 550 undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral researchers.

“This project would not be possible without the incredible generosity of Penny and Phil Knight,” added Phillips. “The Knight Campus will be a game-changing initiative, thanks to their vote of confidence in the University of Oregon.”

Specifically designed to fast-track scientific discoveries and the process of turning those discoveries into innovations, the buildings designed by Bora and Ennead will become the spaces where UO faculty carry out the goals of accelerating scientific impact, train the next generation of scientists, forge greater ties with industry and entrepreneurs and create new educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. Ultimately, the activities on the Knight Campus will improve the quality of life for people in Oregon, the nation and beyond.

“We are thrilled to work with exceptional firms like Bora and Ennead in turning our vision into a physical space that will be extraordinarily functional and a complement to our beautiful campus,” said Phillips.

About Bora Architects

Bora is an award-winning architectural firm in Portland whose practice is driven by a deep commitment to involving their clients in the creative process. They believe that meaningful architecture can transform the lives of everyone it touches. Creating innovative learning environments for scientific disciplines is one of their specialties, and projects include the Science & Engineering Quad at Stanford University, a four-building, multi-disciplinary complex for the School of Engineering. Bora also designed Harvey Mudd College’s LEED Gold-certified Shanahan Center for Teaching & Learning. Their work has been recognized for its emphasis on performance, beauty and craft. Bora was recently named Firm of the Year for the AIA Northwest and Pacific region.

About Ennead Architects

At the core of Ennead’s values lies a deep and fundamental commitment to create architecture that serves humanity. The firm’s portfolio is diverse, ranging from complex laboratory, research and teaching facilities to performing arts centers and museums, and from large-scale infrastructure projects and campus plans to hotels and residential buildings. Designed to express the progressive missions of their institutions and ensure their sustainable futures, these award-winning buildings are acclaimed for their formal and affective power, technical virtuosity, contributions to the cultural life of their communities and the enhancement of their physical contexts.