University of Oregon

The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is an ambitious initiative.

The signature architectural element of the Knight Campus exterior is affectionately known as the Cascading Wall. Inspired by water cascading over rocks, the second skin of glass on the building’s southern, eastern, and western façades reduces solar heat inside research environments. By reducing glare and allowing those spaces access to abundant daylight and dynamic views of surrounding landscapes, it inspires researchers and enhances the work of scientific discovery.

This outer glass carries a double-pass ceramic frit, or dot pattern, which is white on the outside and black on the inside.  The fine silkscreen pattern reflects solar radiation on the exterior, and gives the façade a milky-white appearance, while the black interior layer allows for easy visibility, while also reducing bird strikes. 

The cascading wall is made up of nearly 650 glass panels that individually weigh 800 pounds. Each of these panels is supported by a cantilevered outrigger system with tension rods hanging from the roof. Stabilizers extend out from an inner curtain wall, which is made up of nearly 900 fully unitized glass panels.  Because of the unique architectural and engineered nature of the system, Hoffman Construction erected a three-story prototype in a storage yard on the UO campus. The prototype provided the opportunity to determine the most efficient processes and procedures for construction as well as a sneak peek at the prominent feature of the building.

Project Info



Location:  1505 Franklin Boulevard, EugeneOR

Completion Date: May 2020

Owner / Developer: University of Oregon

Architect: Bora Architects &Ennead Architects

General Contractor: Hoffman Construction