Nike Lebron James Innovation Center / 2020

ArchitectOlson Kundig

Nike opened its 700,000 square foot, LeBron James Innovation Center in Beaverton, OR. The center is devoted to sports data analytics and athletics apparel development, and includes an 84,000 square foot Sports Research Lab with full-sized basketball court, an astroturf soccer field, and a 200 meter running track. The concrete waffle slab supporting this cantilevered space is a nod to the waffle iron-formed rubber soles of the classic 1970s running shoes designed by University of Oregon track coach Bob Bowerman, who, on the strength of a handshake with one of his junior milers, Phil Knight, co-founded the sports shoe company that would become Nike, Inc.
Olson Kundig took the design commission in 2015, and engaged Front to help design and oversee the fabrication and installation of the project’s curtain walls, window walls, profile metal cladding, and black expanded metal mesh over gold painted composite panels that refer to Nike’s signature knitted fabric shoes of the 2020s.