Nike is celebrating tennis legend Serena Williams with a building named in her honor at the company’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The one-million-square-foot LEED Platinum-certified structure is the largest on site, covering the equivalent of 140 full-size tennis courts.
According to Nike, the building’s “tripartite” configuration “is inspired by Serena’s greatness” and her “role as phenom, warrior and muse.” It is also meant to reference the goddess Nike’s wings.
“Architecture has long been a creative catalyst for Nike,” John Hoke, the company’s chief design officer, said in a statement. “A manifestation of form and function following footprint, this building embodies Serena’s legacy as a force for positive change.”
With 23 Grand Slam singles titles under her belt – more than any other man or woman in the open era – Williams is regarded by many as the most dominant tennis player of all time.
Williams says she gets chills just thinking of the building, which she considers to be the fruit of her “blood, sweat, and many tears, many trophies.”
“When I was just a kid, I visited the Nike campus and I saw that athletes get buildings,” she wrote on Instagram. “After that visit, I knew I wanted two things: to be a Nike athlete and to have a building.”
The Serena Williams Building features a two-story theater named after her daughter Olympia, a footwear material library, and numerous murals and art installations inspired by Williams’ life and legacy. It also enables Nike’s product-merchandising, design, and insights departments to collaborate in the same space “for the first time,” according to company representatives.
Williams joins soccer player Mia Hamm and long-distance runner Joan Benoit Samuelson as one of the few women athletes with a dedicated building on Nike’s campus.