Volume 27, Issue 6- November/December 2013

Ducks in a Row
Glass Detailing Scores in Lavish University of Oregon Football Complex
By John Hollis

It’s now the unquestioned gold standard in the raging facilities arms race that has become major college sports. The Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in Eugene, Ore., home to the University of Oregon football program, features an interior sheathed in a variety of glass products, many with a decorative flare.

“If you ever come to Oregon and mention the Ducks, you’ll see that everybody loves the University of Oregon,” says Kris Iverson, marketing and creative director for Moon Shadow Glass in Sandy, Ore., speaking of the school’s beloved mascot. “It was a really neat project to be a part of and to be able to help the university.” Moon Shadow Glass was one of the companies that provided glass products for the project’s interior.

The project has been featured in numerous national television broadcasts and publications such as Sports Illustrated. The six-story, on-campus facility located near the Ducks’ home at Autzen Stadium, and its eye-popping $98 million tab, came courtesy of the largesse of Nike co-founder and Oregon alum Phil Knight.

But the building’s splendor is hardly limited to its interior, says Kelvin Ono of ZGF Architects.

The project’s façade features a number of types of glass. The upper levels of the “Teaching Box” and the weight room incorporate fritted reflective glass used in a triple glazed unit. This included an outer lite of clear glass with a custom frit, a middle lite of highly reflective low-E coating on the #4 surface and inner lite of grey tinted glass.

“It is really kind of amazing,” he says. “Basically, the entire building is a glass block. It’s quite an impressive building, but when you see it [in person], it’s another thing entirely. It’s really visually complex. There are a lot of different components, but they look nice.

The unique façade incorporates triple-glazed units coated with a dark tint that helps reduce glare while also appearing to look like “armor” on the building. Portland, Ore.-based Benson Industries supplied and installed the curtainwall system.

Architects say “super reflective” glass was used on what’s called the “pop out” off the weight room to maximize privacy. This IGU consists of an outer lite of highly reflective low-E coating on the #2 surface and an inner lite of grey tinted glass.

On the ground floor public areas, triple-glazed units were used. These were constructed with an outer lite of lightly reflective low-E coating on the #2 surface, a middle lite of minimally reflective low-E coating on the #4 surface and an inner light of clear glass.

On the west façade of what’s called the office bar, “sunglass” was used. This laminated glass was constructed with 3/8-inch thick grey glass on the outer layer, clear PVB interlayer and 3/8-inch thick clear glass on the inside.

Describing the façade, Ono says, “When you walk by, it shivers.”

And inside, Moon Shadow Glass was responsible for 7,000 square feet of glass—roughly 1,000 lites—within the massive building, including the offices for each of the team’s position coaches and the team’s so-called “war room” where strategy is planned. The company’s work also featured an array of custom-designed black mirrors, including glass panels within the building’s elevators with photo-etched images of a few of the football program’s most memorable plays shown on them.

But Moon Shadow’s largest contribution to the massive project was the glass, dry-erase magnetic boards that serve as writing boards in meeting rooms. Laminated with magnetic properties added to the back, the pieces of glass each stand at nearly nine feet tall and more than four feet wide.

Everything went smoothly, says Moon Shadow Glass owner Tim Frazier. “It was fantastic to be included in on that project,” he says. “Everything was top quality.”

It’s all pretty heady stuff even for an Oregon football team that has ranked among the nation’s best over the last years.

There’s even a barbershop in the facility, with hair-cutting equipment imported from Italy.

“It’s basically a state-of-the-art football facility,” Iverson says. “Even some NFL teams are envious of what the Ducks have.”

The Ducks, who are led on the field by quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Marcus Mariota, could possibly play for the national championship in January.

And the building he and his team call home could score a few points, too.


Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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