UO’s Knight Campus Earns Accolades for Design

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UO’s Knight Campus Earns Accolades for Design

The University of Oregon’s Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact earned honors in the Society for College and University Planning’s (SCUP) 2021 Excellence Awards in the SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture category

The annual, juried honors recognize institutions for strategic, integrated planning that results in exemplary buildings and grounds, institutional success and careers that inspire. 

The UO celebrated the grand opening of the first building of the Knight Campus, a 160,000 square-foot, best-in-class facility, in December. Ennead Architects in New York and Bora Architects in Portland served as the lead architects on the project, with Hoffman Construction as the general contractor. The Knight Campus was made possible by a $500 million lead gift from Penny and Phil Knight—the largest gift ever to a public flagship institution—and $70 million in state bonds, along with continued private philanthropy.



“This award honors the hard work of a diverse collection of creative minds, from faculty members to architects, who collaborated to produce an amazing facility. Because of the effectiveness of the team, the Knight Campus is a tribute to collaborative design that integrates form with function.”

— Darin Dehle, UO director of design and construction


The design team, which included UO faculty, administrators, architects and planners, drew insights and inspiration from visits to leading research facilities, to create a building that serves the Knight Campus mission of science advancing society.

“We are honored that the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon is being recognized by the SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture Awards. This award not only celebrates the building but acknowledges its transformative human-centered design that supports researchers as they advance the initiative’s mission to shorten the timeline between discovery, development, and deployment of innovations that will have positive societal impact.”

– Todd Schliemann FAIA and Jarrett Pelletier AIA, Ennead Architects
Impact Cycle: Discover-Develop-Deploy

The design intent serves the impact cycle, a foundational idea of the Knight Campus best represented by the concepts of discovery, development, and deployment. The building is home to discovery at the lab bench; the development of biomedical devices and therapies; and the deployment of new technologies to the marketplace, where products, innovations, or cures impact people’s lives. The building’s design accelerates the impact cycle by efficiently bringing people together and encouraging collaboration.

research neighborhoods
Teams of scientists, researchers and students blur lines between disciplines and pursue discovery in research neighborhoods with open workspaces and labs that encourage interaction. Research then moves to the development stage, with cutting-edge equipment for rapid prototyping and finally to the deployment phase, with an innovation center to maximize the commercial potential and ensure the product, therapy or treatment reaches as many people as possible.