Law School Renovation & ExpansionUniversity of Kentucky
Law School Renovation & Expansion New Exterior View of Memorial Hall Lawn
A Place of Prominence
Having been established on campus in 1964, the University of Kentucky College of Law has a long tradition as the state’s preeminent law school. Realizing the need and having the desire for their facilities to reflect the prominence of the academic program, the university engaged Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects and Kohn Pederson Fox to design the Law School Renovation & Expansion to modernize the law school and reflect the school’s importance to the university, community and state.
Understanding the law school community and academic program is the foundation for the design of the expansion and renovation. Through a series of programming sessions, the architects engaged the law school faculty and staff in a dialogue to gain an understanding of the building program components necessary to support the academic program. Through these conversations, the architects gained an understanding of a law school community where the law library is the heart of the school, students use the building virtually 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and strong faculty student relationships are critically important. The architects discussed the law school’s relationship to the university community’s campus goals with the university architect and administrators to understand how the project could enhance these goals.
The law school building sits at the front door of the university, holding a prominent location on campus by forming one side of the historic Memorial Hall lawn as well as anchoring a major pedestrian pathway. The project creates a “porch” along the Memorial Hall lawn to increase the campus presence of the law school, frames views of the historic Memorial Hall, and provides a focus for the pedestrian pathway. The law school is celebrated by placing the building entrance on the “porch”.
As you enter the building’s main floor from the porch you walk into an open lobby with soft seating and tables for student study. The law library and Moot courtroom are both prominently located just inside the entrance and immediately off the lobby. Continuing through the lobby you arrive at the administrative suite, with the dean’s office, admissions, development, career counseling, and support spaces. The building’s second floor provides large classrooms, medium classrooms, seminar rooms, offices for all the faculty, soft seating and tables for student study, and a café. The third floor provides a multi-functional classroom which is divisible and suitable for both instruction as well as special events. There is an outdoor terrace which gives views of the campus and expands the event space in nice weather.
The building’s exterior is completely transformed. Brick and stone are used to elegantly reflect the modern nature of the College of Law and integrate the building’s appearance with the context of campus materials and architecture. Inside the building the mechanical, electrical, instructional audio visual, and security systems are completely new and in line with the university’s standards.