The Law School Building addition has put a new face on the school, re-engaged the University community, and encompassed a theme of openness and accessibility. The 72,000 SF addition to the Leflar Law Center at the University of Arkansas houses a library reading room, classroom and seminar rooms, a 200 seat auditorium and courtroom, a new entry lobby and faculty and staff offices. The existing building was an accumulation of additions to the original 1950s era Waterman Hall, built in the International Style. The design, in addition to its symbolic gesture of openness, responds to the architecture of the Fine Arts Building by Edward Durrell Stone, which sits directly across the plaza. The expression of the new addition is forward looking and open, contrary to the formality and traditional design prevalent in most justice oriented buildings. The exterior volumes of brick and glass express the variety of functions inside the building, while offering a basic bar massing scheme. Deviations from the bar occur at special “events” within the building - the auditorium, library reading room, main lobby and entry. The design exemplifies the dynamic and ever changing state of legal education in the United States. With major spaces that open to the campus plaza to the south, the addition re-engages the campus community both physically and figuratively.
This project is the recipient of an AIA Merit Award and a SCC Best Public Design Award.