By Keith Loria
The University of Oregon has set in motion its plans for the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact in Eugene, Oregon, a $1 billion vision by the college to create cutting-edge labs and open spaces in an effort to turn scientific discoveries into societal benefits.
“With these designs, our ambitious vision for the Knight Campus is a step closer to becoming a reality,” Michael Schill, UO’s president, said in a prepared release. “We are creating a place that will incubate genius, curiosity and ideas, where researchers from a variety of disciplines will come together to forge a lasting impact on the world.”
The $225 million, 160,000-square-foot construction of the project’s first phase is scheduled to begin in February 2018 along the north side of Franklin Boulevard, between Onyx Street and Riverfront Parkway. The plan was made possible thanks to a $500 million lead gift from Penny and Phil Knight and augmented with $50 million in state bonds.
The Knight Campus will provide a hands-on, world-class science experience, and offer students professional development training in entrepreneurialism, communication and innovation.
The project will include mezzanines, meetings rooms and inviting public spaces that will encourage collaboration among researchers from a wide variety of fields, and attract top researchers in fields such as bio-engineers, computational scientists and immunologists. The campus is being designed by the project team of Bora Architects and Ennead Architects. It’s expected that students and researchers will be able to move into the planned world-class facilities in early 2020. Early plans call for a glass-and-steel building with a skybridge over Franklin Boulevard connecting to other UO research facilities.
“We set out to design a campus around the very interdisciplinary ideals that have helped drive the University of Oregon’s success,” Todd Schliemann, Ennead’s design partner and lead designer for the project, said. “This design beautifully illustrates that identity by not only reflecting the UO’s past but by illuminating a future of inspiring science.”
Over the next decade, the Knight Campus will house more than 30 new principal researchers and their teams and will support an estimated 750 new jobs, representing an estimated $80 million in annual statewide economic gains.
Last year, Home2 Suites opened a 120-key hotel near the The University of Oregon, seeing the economic positives of the area, including the state’s tourism industry generating $10.8 billion in revenue annually.
Photo and video courtesy of The University of Oregon