William H. Neukom Building opened at Stanford Law School, inspiring various interdisciplinary collaborations
It is becoming regular practice for successful professionals to return to their roots and enrich the educational experience of new students by donating large sums of money to the institution that spawned their careers. Managing General Partner and CEO of the San Francisco Giants, William H. Neukom is a follower of this tradition, and has recently celebrated the realisation of the William H. Neukom Building at Stanford Law School following his lead gift of $20m.
Designed by Ennead Architects the Neukom Building is to be a buzzing central base for the Law School as it looks to ‘stimulate interdisciplinary studies and help cross-pollinate ideas’. The building is spread over 65,000 sq ft and three floors organised around a central open space. Across the ground floor are the Mills Legal Clinic, seminar rooms, faculty offices, open plan study areas, and conference facilities, whilst open and closed meeting areas, the Dean’s suite and the Dean’s conference room are spread throughout the upper floors.
Neukom stated: "Stanford Law School is dedicated to educating students who will become leaders in their profession and in their communities - in a world that is increasingly complex and ever changing. It is my hope that this new building will enhance a learning experience at the law school that prepares and inspires our students and faculty to make a difference."
In direct contrast to the traditional stonework of the main building are a series of glass-walled bridges connecting the key internal spaces. Barnum Tower, a traditional rotunda, acts as the main entranceway to the building, its classic form directly referencing the historic entry gates on the campus’ main quad. Much care has been taken to introduce eco-friendly materials to the build, such as sustainably harvested ipe wood from Brazil, and numerous design elements such as the integration of natural light into the interior spaces has brought the building in line with the University’s sustainable initiative.
“The William H. Neukom building creates a space in which to achieve our goals and is the foundation upon which all else rests,” said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “This building will foster interaction and collaboration, which are essential to a rich educational experience and the kind of intellectual environment that is the hallmark of Stanford Law School.”