Nike Unveils the Serena Williams Building by Skylab Architecture

Covering the equivalent of 140 full-size tennis courts — that’s 1 million square feet (93000sqm) — the Serena Williams Building (SW) is the largest office building at Nike World Headquarters. It’s also where Nike’s Consumer Creation teams have access to 200,000 square feet (over 18500 sqm) of lab space, allowing them to test new ideas in developing, presenting and merchandising Nike products.

These residents, representing Design, Consumer Insights, the Women’s, Men’s and Kids constructs, and Apparel and Footwear Product Merchandising, spend their days collaborating on and creating the future of sport.

  • The LEED Platinum–certified Serena Williams Building demonstrates Nike’s commitment to championing athletes.
  • The 1-million-square-foot building signifies Nike’s biggest investment in design and creativity.
  • The space allows for the pinnacle of collaboration, bringing Nike’s design, insights and product-merchandising teams together for the first time.
  • The building’s tripartite structure 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 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,”

Serena Williams

Nowhere is Nike’s commitment to championing athletes more strongly enabled than through its unmatched investment in world-class design and research labs. SW, designed by Portland-based Skylab Architecture in collaboration with Mark Parker, Executive Chairman of NIKE, Inc., builds on Nike’s legacy and follows its namesake’s dedication to progress.

“Our goal was to bring this building and the surrounding wetlands into harmonious balance — experientially, visually and ecologically. The building site previously contained a large parking lot and an access road that ran alongside the creek. By burying the access road along with all parking and loading, we minimized the presence of cars and trucks while stitching our site back to the natural landscape for people and native species to enjoy.” 

Skylab Architecture

Specialty spaces in SW include 140,000 square feet (13000sqm) of showrooms and work space; a footwear materials library; a color lab; and the two-story, 140-seat Olympia Theater, named after Serena’s daughter. The work spaces are curated to inspire each respective working group and are filled with stories about athletes, sport, innovation and Nike culture. Immersive spaces with 180-degree wraparound visual projection allow Nike teams to visualize data in completely new ways and bring product to life at new scale. 

“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,”

John Hoke, Chief Design Officer

Attention to creating the future is matched by SW’s attention to protecting the planet. More than 20 percent of SW, which is LEED Platinum–certified, is made up of recycled content that was harvested and manufactured locally. It is outfitted with 648 solar panels, adding to an anticipated energy-cost saving of 41 percent compared to a baseline building. Additionally, the building sits beside federally protected wetland, and its design preserves and supplements the environment with thousands of native plant species.

Enter the Serena Williams Building here.

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