Designed by Behnisch Architekten with Ayers Saint Gross, John and Frances Angelos Law Center for the University of Baltimore has been shortlisted for the international World Architecture Festival, and recognized by the high-profile Energy Performance + Architecture Award.
The result of an international design competition championed by the President of the University of Baltimore, Robert L. Bogomolny, the new home of the School of Law unites classrooms, faculty offices, administrative space, and the law library under a single roof for the first time in the history of the University.
The building, located at the prominent intersection of Mount Royal Avenue and Charles Street, functionally & symbolically defines the Law School as an academic & social nexus, offering state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities while fostering an interactive, communicative environment for collaboration between students, faculty, and administrators.
With the proximity of the site to Baltimore's principal train station, Penn Station; at the terminus of one of Baltimore's great urban thoroughfares; and immediately adjacent to the Jones Falls Expressway, this building also creates an important and highly visible threshold to the campus and the City, and demonstrates the commitment of the University of Baltimore to the on-going renewal and development of the city.
The building form consists of three interlocking L-shaped volumes which articulate the functions of the building program - classrooms and offices, the legal clinic, and the law library - and define a narrow atrium, a "green stalk" rising up through the heart of the building and connecting the three volumes. In addition to its function as the connective tissue between program spaces, the atrium also captures the lobby, two coffee bars (forum level and Level 6) and informal work and meeting spaces.
The atrium is critical to both the technical performance of the building as well as to furthering the social and pedagogical goals of the Law School. It works with generous exterior and interior wall glazing in conjunction with shallow floor plates to maximize daylight autonomy, and visual access to daylight for interior work spaces, while simultaneously providing a transparent and communicative interior, visually linking public space, teaching space, and administrative space in an open and inspiring environment.
Photos: Brad Feinknopf, David Matthiesen
Aerial Shot: Courtesy of Construction Trades Services, Inc.