May 20, 2022
by James Roberts
Nike’s Serena Williams Building Will Design the Future of Sport
by James Roberts
May 20, 2022

Great design teams need inspiring spaces to work in. On its Oregon campus, Nike has constructed the Serena Williams Building (SW): One million square feet of workspaces, labs and spaces for its teams to collaborate and create together.

It is the largest office building at Nike World Headquarters. With that space, Nike has brought together its design, insights and product-merchandising teams for the first time. New ideas, products and ways of merchandising will be dreamt up in this future-gazing and dynamic building.

Amongst the 140 full-size tennis courts worth of space are showrooms, workspaces, a materials library, a color lab, and a 140-seat Olympia Theater, named after Serena’s daughter. These are housed within a tripartite structure that is “inspired by Serena’s greatness; it references the goddess Nike’s wings and interprets its namesake’s role as phenom, warrior and muse,” the brand announced in an online statement.

SW is LEED Platinum-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Its creator, Portland-based Skylab Architecture, has gone above and beyond to design a building that protects the planet as much as it creates inspiring working spaces.

More than 20 percent of SW is made up of recycled content that was harvested and manufactured locally. 648 solar panels across the site are predicted to save 41 percent on energy compared to a baseline building. And, more specifically to its local environment, SW’s design protects the wetlands and native plant species that surround it. It is part of Nike’s “salmon safe” campus which means stormwater run-off and source pollution have been reduced to protect Pacific Northwest salmon watersheds.

Serena Williams feels the inspiration in the space herself: “The whole building takes your breath away. Every element, everywhere you go, is an opportunity to be inspired. I hope this building encourages people to bring out the best of themselves and to dream bigger than they thought possible.”

John Hoke, Chief Design Officer at Nike, says, “Architecture has long been a creative catalyst for Nike. A manifestation of form and function following footprint, this building embodies Serena’s legacy as a force for positive change. It is the art to the LeBron James Innovation Center’s science, allowing us to know and serve athletes like never before.”

Stay tuned to see what future ideas are dreamt up in SW.