Serena Williams, undoubtedly one of the most important athletes of all time, has certainly had an extraordinary year. Aside from her many professional accomplishments, the tennis player has gotten married and given birth. And now she will lend her name to something totally unexpected: a building in Nike's Beaverton, Oregon, world headquarters.
The company announced Wednesday that four new structures will open in 2019 as part of its campus expansion. Two buildings will be named after athletes, Serena Williams and former track-and-field star Sebastian Coe, while a fitness center will be named after Mike Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K, of Duke University. Lastly, Nike plans to erect a parking garage which will be "themed around the New York City’s sporting heritage," featuring New York sports team logos and graffiti walls.
Three Northwest-based architect firms, ZGF Architects, SRG Partnership and Skylab Architecture, designed the Serena Williams Building, and Hoffman Construction built the facilities. PLACE, of Portland, Oregon, provided landscape architecture services.When completed, the Serena Williams building will be the largest structure at the headquarters (deserving), spanning more than 1 million square feet and nearly three city blocks.
Serena, for her part, was so excited about the development that she took to Instagram to reflect on her year of major accomplishments. She wrote, "What a year it has been. First a grand slam win followed by a awesome baby... than the most magical wedding. What next? How about a building!!... Nike announced yesterday that one of its new world headquarters buildings will be named after me. It will be the biggest on campus and is scheduled to open in 2019. I am honored and grateful! #TeamNike @nike." Serena has been a Nike athlete since December 2003, and the company declared her "one of the greatest athletes of all time and one of the most inspiring people in sport" in their recent statement.
Apparently, she's inspiring architects now, too. It's about time.