Introduction - The University of Oregon has assembled a massive state-of-the-art showcase to promote student-athlete wellness and to honor one of its Oregon Ducks football alumni, Marcus Mariota. The Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center features an athletic wellness performance facility and an interior constructed of eye-catching glass displays, including a trophy lobby with Tru Vue® UltraVue® Laminated Glass display cases. Mariota was a quarterback for the Oregon Ducks from 2012-2014 and a 2014 Heisman Trophy winner. Today, Mariota is a 3rd year professional National Football League (NFL) quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.
Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center - The talented design team at SRG Partnership and Senior Designer, Walker Templeton, were the architects behind the Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center at the University of Oregon. The breathtaking 30,000 square foot (2787 square meter) renovation includes a new athletic training facility worthy of professional NFL football players. Generous benefactors, such as Nike Co-Founder, Phil Knight, made the $19 million dollar project possible. The interior of the complex incorporates over 15,000 square feet (1394 square meters) of glass, but it’s not just ordinary glass. Glass lined corridors, entrance doors, and ceilings integrate printed murals and artwork which highlight Mariota’s college career at the University of Oregon. Some of the decorating techniques used in the project include photo realistic etching, direct printing using laminated glass, and paint filling of surface etched lettering.
Trophy Cases Constructed from UltraVue® Laminated Glass - A major focal point of the Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center is the trophy lobby which is a 135 foot (41 meter) long glass corridor that reaches 20 feet (6 meters) in height. All the prestigious trophies that Mariota was awarded during his football career at the University of Oregon are displayed in the center of this impressive corridor. Fabricated by B & L Wood Creations Inc. of Hillsboro, Oregon, each of the 8 cases measure 18” inches (46 centimeters) square and the height of the cases range from 12-40” inches (30–101 centimeters) tall. Decorative detail was used in every corner of the corridor, but the real artwork is encased in the Tru Vue® UltraVue® Laminated Glass display cases. UltraVue® Laminated Glass was the material of choice since it would severely cut down on unwanted reflections caused by the other non-coated glass and lighting used within the display area, creating the best artifacts viewing experience for guests.
Challenges with Glass Edge Bonding - A unique feature of the glass display cases includes an angled top which helps eliminate the look of a step effect when you enter the display corridor. This feature did however, present a potential problem with fabrication. Edge bonding laminated glass can be a challenge, even for the professionals. When edge bonding laminated glass is combined with some angles, it multiplies the challenge. Tolerances must be extreme to produce a clean bond with no voids. Any uncontrolled bonding agent would be detrimental to the finished look and could also damage the non-reflective coating on the laminated glass during the assembly process.
Cut and Polished to Precision - Just like in football, precision in glass cutting is mandatory. It starts with the cutting and polishing of the glass. JIT Companies Inc. of Green Isle, Minnesota supplied the quarter inch (6.4 millimeter) UltraVue® Laminated Glass for this project. Using the clients’ information and requested dimensions for each case, JIT Companies programmed its computer controlled high pressure waterjets for cutting of the glass. This equipment is used due to its high precision and speed producing consistent parts in the process. The side panels of all the display cases also required a small fixture hole at the lower edge of the glass. This was to be used to secure the glass cases to the base fixture as a security measure for the artifacts. The cutting was followed by precision edge grinding and polishing that would bring the parts to the final required size, easing the assembly process.
Transparent Assembly of the Glass Cases - The depth and weight of some of the larger units was the most challenging aspect of the assembly. After discussion and testing, it was determined that the best way to fasten the tops to the 4 sides, was to use acrylic 3M™ VHB™ Tape. JIT Companies provided the water clear (transparent) tape in custom sized lengths for application to the top edge of the cases. The glass top was put in place securing it with an ultra-clear invisible bond. This process ensured that there was no stray adhesive that would have made its way to the inside of the cube, making cleaning difficult, if not impossible.
Conclusion - The Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center is a visual glass masterpiece at every glance. This project shows how UltraVue® Laminated Glass and some creative ingenuity can be used to cut, polish, and construct even the most challenging glass display cases with striking precision.