Architect Ennead Architects
Design partner Richard Olcott
Management partner Don Weinreich
Project designer Kate Mann
Project manager Steven Peppas
Associate architect MKThink
In late May this year, hundreds of people gathered on the law school campus of
Reinforcing the principles of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s original master plan for the campus, the building is organised around a central courtyard: four three-storey wings, connected by glass-walled bridges, pinwheel around the elevated faculty garden. A ground-floor plinth forms the base of the building and houses the law clinic. A monumental rotunda references the historic entry gates on the main quad, marks the convergence of the two principal campus grids, and establishes the
The rotunda’s open-air staircase leads to the faculty garden and upper levels, which house faculty offices, the dean’s suite and open and closed meeting and lounge areas. The faculty garden is intended primarily as the law school’s ‘living room’, designed to accommodate social events as well as individual study. The composition of materials and plantings creates a variety of ‘conversation rooms’, sculptural fountains at both ends reinforce the garden’s contemplative ambience, and a suspended, vine-covered, wood-and-steel trellis with a central oculus knits together the four wings of the building and creates an interplay of shade and shadow. Skylights, which have been seamlessly integrated into the design of the raised planter boxes, infuse the ground floor clinic with natural light. The area expands the law school’s sequence of outdoor spaces, which includes the reinvigorated
The garden façades of each of the four wings are articulated by subtly textured planar limestone walls, which extend from the garden to the outer edges of the complex, thereby reinforcing the pinwheel plan and drawing people into the space.
Read the full story in the September 2011 issue of Perspective magazine!