University of Oregon Football Performance Center Wins National Steel Building Award

July 22, 2015

(Chicago, IL) – The Hatfield-Dowlin Football Performance Center at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore., has earned national recognition in the 2015 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2). In honor of this achievement, members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) during a ceremony at the building on Tuesday, July 28 at 2 p.m.

Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEASawards recognize outstanding achievement in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects across the country. The IDEASaward is the highest, most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S. and recognizes the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects.

The building’s project team members include:

  • Owner: University of Oregon / Blue Ribbon Sports, Eugene, Ore.
  • General Contractor: Hoffman Construction Company of Oregon, Portland
  • Architects: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP, Portland; Firm 151, Portland
  • Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers, Portland
  • Steel Fabricator: Metals Fabrication Co. (AISC Member/Certified fabricator)
  • Steel Detailer: Tru-Line Drafting Services, Surrey, B.C. (AISC Member)

The Hatfield-Dowlin Football Performance Center is a Merit award winner in the category of projects $15 Million to $75 Million, making it one of only seven projects around the country to receive the Merit honor. Each year, the IDEASawards honor National and Merit award winners in three categories, based on constructed value: projects less than $15 million; projects $15 million to $75 million; and projects greater than $75 million. Each project is judged on its use of structural steel from both an architectural and structural engineering perspective, with an emphasis on: creative solutions to project’s program requirements; applications of innovative design approaches in areas such as connections, gravity systems, lateral load resisting systems, fire protection and blast; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS); technical or architectural advances in the use of the steel; and the use of innovative design and construction methods.

“This aggressively fearless design elevates the cantilever to structural tour de force, defying logic by hanging the offices from the truss above the main floor,” commented IDEASawards judge, Paul Endres, S.E., FAIA, a principal with Endrestudio.

The 145,000-sq.-ft Football Performance Center, adjacent to the University of Oregon Ducks football team’s Autzen Stadium, provides training, teaching and nutrition services to the team and staff, plus a weight room, coaching staff offices, team meeting theaters, position-specific training rooms, locker rooms, practice fields, dining facilities, a “war room” and a players’ lounge. The offices and lounge are housed in the three-story “Office Bar” structure, which cantilevers over a plaza some 40 ft below. The 235-ft-long, 35-ft-wide building is supported only by two steel-clad stair cores with plan dimensions of 22 ft x 12 ft and 22 ft x 17 ft, occurring near the ¼ point from each end, with cantilevers of 50 ft and 40 ft extending out at the north and south ends, respectively, and a central span of almost 120 ft. The primary structure is composed of a pair of full-story deep steel warren trusses located along the east and west edges of the uppermost level. Exposed W12 truss diagonals create a pattern along the full length of the player’s lounge, and the lower two floors are hung from the trusses via high-strength steel rods, allowing for column-free space throughout the building.

A “sunglass wall” on the building’s west face is composed of a series of intermittent exterior glass panes alternating position in three planes, creating an attractive focal point while also providing sun-shading to occupants. This wall is separated from the main building by several feet and hangs from cantilevered hollow structural sections (HSS) beams extending from the roof.

A 24-ft-wide steel sky bridge connects the east side of the Office Bar to the adjacent “Teaching Box” building at levels four through six. The five-story Teaching Box is approximately 100 ft by 160 ft and houses a lobby, a dining hall, media and scouting facilities, a locker room, position classrooms, meeting room and the team theaters. The building features a two-story-tall 28-ft cantilevered portion at levels four and five on the east side, hung from 5-ft-deep custom steel plate girders at the roof, and the upper three levels of the building are framed primarily with composite steel beams and columns.

The IDEAS2 award dates back more than 50 years with AISC. And about this year’s winning Football Performance Center, Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC, said, “The entire University of Oregon Hatfield-Dowlin Football Performance Center project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and practicality. The result is an athletic facility that serves its purpose extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

High-resolution images of the University of Oregon Hatfield-Dowlin Football Performance Center project are available upon request by contacting AISC’s Tasha Weiss at 312.670.5439 or For more information about the IDEAS2 awards and to view all of this year’s winners, please visit


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Director of Marketing Communications

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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