Monday, November 8, 2010

Interiors: Academic Center at University of Oregon

On a recent trip to the University of Oregon in Eugene, I had the privelege or visiting the John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes. Full disclosure, my husband Marc Curtis had a big hand in the interior design of this building while working for ZGF in Portland, and brought some innovative solutions to the problem of recognizing award winners and donors while maintaining the integrity of the space.

From Marc:
"We designed this beautiful building, but there's a huge component of recognizing student athlete achievements, as well as major donors to the athletic department. The normal way, the ugly way, is to have a bronze plaque tacked on to the wall and unrelated to the space. We wanted to avoid that, so we spent a lot of time designing solutions that integrated these recognitions into the fabric of the building, inside and out. There’s a great deal of them, so these solutions are actually what defines the public space. As the viewer looks around in the space, the first things that catch their eye are those many examples…..We achieved this by incorporating graphic elements, typography, shapes, colors, and patterns into the materials that the space is built out of.
One example: The bathroom is a recognition of Don Essig, a famous announcer at U of O, and his famous line "It Never Rains at Autzen Stadium." We recorded his voice, created a graphic representation of that recording, and that became the tile pattern in the restrooms."

Another example is a wall of back lit steel laser cut panels that are the names of notable U of O professors."

-Claudia Brown

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