Nike’s just opened its biggest office building yet in Beaverton and it’s dedicated to one of the biggest names in tennis. Opened just last month, the Serena Williams Building is equal in scale to 140 full-size tennis courts at 1 million square feet.
From the 23 columns in the atrium that represent the number of Grand Slam titles she’s won, to the slash above the garden walls that’s modeled after her tennis stroke, to the 140-seat Olympia Theater named after her daughter, the building is one giant love letter to Williams. (Nike has a history of naming its buildings after prominent sports figures, including Michael Jordan, Nolan Ryan, and more recently, LeBron James; the Serena Williams Building is among its most ambitious-ever builds).
Designed by Skylab Architecture, the complex was built atop a parking lot and service road that runs along a creek —the intention being to minimize car presence while incorporating the area’s natural environment into the building’s aesthetic. Over 20 percent of the LEED-Platinum certified building is made from locally harvested and manufactured recycled content, and it boasts 648 solar panels.
The new building will be occupied by Nike’s Consumer Creation teams, including the design department, consumer insight, and product merchandising; interior spaces include everything from showrooms and workspace to a footwear materials library, and a color lab. In the main lobby, Williams donated memorabilia for display, including shoes, outfits, and trophies.
“We knew that Serena was going to be named for the building pretty early on in the design. So, we tried to imbue her power and strength as an athlete throughout the building,” says Susan Barnes, one of the Principals with Skylab who was involved in the building design.
Want to see for yourself? The campus isn’t open to the public, but you can check out the new Serena Williams building in our handy slideshow, as Barnes highlights some of its coolest features.