- Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon by SRG Partnership
Hayward Field was originally built in 1919 for the university's American football team, the Oregon Ducks Football and in 1921 it was expanded with a six-lane athletics facility for the Oregon Ducks Track and Field team. After the Oregon Ducks Football team relocated in 1967, Hayward Field became a track and field-only stadium. The need to modernise the stadium had been apparent for quite a few years, not least in view of the world track and field championships which, after the delay caused by the pandemic, will be held here in July of this year.
Considering the rich history, it is not surprising that the client – the University of Oregon – wants to create the “finest track and field facility in the world", as well as "an unparalleled stage on which to push the limits of what is possible", as we read in the press release issued by the architects of the SRG Partnership studio, in charge of the intervention. Conceived as a true theatre for track and field, Hayward Field sets a new standard for fan experience and connection to sport, with comfortable seating for every single patron, a wide range of in-stadium food and beverage services and a great view and close proximity to the athletes and the action.
It was certainly not an easy challenge to combine the needs of the athletes with those of the spectators. The new stadium offers 12,650 seats (expandable to almost 25,000 seats), combined with an optimised view of the field. Apart from the uncovered facilities, we find a vast range of services for athletes under the stadium, with almost 40,000 square metres of space dedicated to training and recovery, as well as an auditorium, various gyms and changing rooms.
The construction of the new stadium was heavily influenced by Bill Bowerman's quote " Oregon is wood and wood is Oregon", which inspired the iconic wooden canopy structure and other wooden elements integrated throughout the stadium. In particular, as the architects explain, "The soaring canopy structure, or "bents", surrounding the stadium are a powerful connection to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest." The architectural gesture, in fact, is the bearer of the innovative spirit of the University of Oregon brand, in particular by combining wood with the ETFE coating, a light, airy and translucent material that improves the acoustics of the stands and provides protection from rain and shade to the fans below.
The renovation project designed by the SRG Partnership studio also includes the Hayward Tower. This slender, 9-story volume marks the stadium's main public entrance and serves as a campus and community-wide landmark for this historic site. Clad in a perforated metal panel featuring images of five Oregon track and field icons, the tower flares upward and outward, resembling the Olympic torch. The complex also includes an 8,600 square metre museum designed by the SRG Partnership studio in collaboration with Gallagher. The museum is dedicated to the history of Oregon Track and Field and tells the story of Bill Bowerman and the birthplace of Nike. All to offer an experience that goes beyond the mere consumption of the sporting event, becoming an opportunity to create a deeper bond with the place and its rich history.
Project: SRG Partnership
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Images: Kevin Scott