Celebrating athletes with new, inviting light
The John E Jaqua Academic Center is the newest addition to the University of Oregon campus. When designing the 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art academic learning center, the main objective was to provide a comfortable and focused learning environment for student athletes. In addition, the Center would serve as a vehicle to celebrate alumni student athletes and their accomplishments, as well as to recruit new student athletes.
One of the challenges of the project was the location of the new center—a busy intersection between campus and the city of Eugene, on the site of a former parking lot at one of the major campus entrances. Architectural firm ZGF Partnership and lighting designer Mark Godfrey of Lighting Studio at Interface Engineering worked together to create a tranquil environment for studying that not only connected students to the surrounding natural landscape and daylight but also offered a vibrant and welcoming space.
The glass building rests on a body of water at the edge of a birch forest. The structure features a stainless steel screen wall and two layers of glazing. Color Kinetics eW Graze Powercore linear LED grazing luminaires, located within the stainless steel screen wall and the two layers of glazing, illuminate the horizontal and vertical structure of the three-story façade with a neutral white light. From the inside, warm-toned wood surfaces glow, creating a layered visual experience. The way the glass reflects on the water obscures the boundary between the building and surrounding landscape. The vertical stainless steel screen within this façade also provides shading, thermal comfort, and ability for heat harvesting and privacy for those inside.
Inside the building, Godfrey created an active and vibrant space that celebrates school spirit by using various Color Kinetics LED luminaires programmed to display the school's colors, green and yellow. The atrium is open from the ground floor to the top of the building and features skylights. Godfrey lined the edges of the skylights with iColor Cove MX Powercore luminaires (now specified with PureStyle IntelliHue Powercore). Across from the skylights, he installed iColor Accent Powercore (now specified using iColor Accent MX Powercore gen2) in the ceiling. He also used iColor Accent Powercore luminaires to illuminate the transparent elevator doors on each floor.
In the student auditorium area, the names of faculty award winners have been laser-cut into an aluminum wall. The wall is backlit with ColorGraze Powercore luminaires, and slowly alternates between green and yellow. A mural running along the main hallway on the building's main floor is also colorfully lit with ColorGraze Powercore luminaires to welcome passers-by.
LED lighting helped achieve the project's sustainability goals while providing the intensity required for the lighting design. Godfrey comments, "We really needed lighting systems with more focused intensity than traditional luminaire choices. Fluorescent and ceramic metal halide do not provide the combination of smooth linear focused intensity that lighting LED provides."