Nike Unveils LeBron James Innovation Center, Designed by Olson Kundig
Olson Kundig is pleased to share the official unveiling of the LeBron James Innovation Center at Nike World Headquarters (WHQ). Led by Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, the new building unites more than 700 staff from innovation teams previously spread across the Nike campus, to foster cross-pollination and collaboration across teams.
The LeBron James Innovation Center establishes Nike’s ongoing research and development as the heart of its Beaverton, OR-based campus. Inside, an open, four-story central atrium creates a bright, welcoming center for engagement and spontaneous encounters, as well as an intuitive system for wayfinding throughout the building. At the top of the 700,000 SF building, the Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL) cantilevers 50 feet above the main entry, featuring a mega truss structure and waffle slab base that express the building’s engineering craft and nod to the iconic waffle pattern of early Nike shoes. The NSRL houses a track, full-sized basketball court and partial soccer pitch, and connects to the signature 100-meter, 15.63% incline ramp on the facility’s exterior.
The building – one of several new facilities on the WHQ campus – was recently certified LEED-NC v2009 Platinum. Nike also unveiled an interactive website, which details the story of the building design, Nike’s Advanced Innovation team, and the life and career of LeBron James.
In a way this project is like the culmination of a career spent pursuing authenticity – in architecture, in systems, in materials. I’ve always felt the basis of architecture is function‑driven with a poetic finish. The physicality and athleticism you see in this building is something I’ve been exploring throughout my career at a variety of scales. I’ve enjoyed working alongside the many entrepreneurs and risk‑takers at Nike, and I’m honored that they took a risk on me.Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal – Architecture
Over the course of my career and my time here at Nike, for all of this to come together is surreal. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m definitely honored. Having my name on the Innovation building feels very fitting because I’m always trying to figure out ways I can continue to innovate and continue to break the timeline of what they say is your prime.LeBron James