The sinuous building form, a direct response to the presence of the surrounding mountains and geology of the valley, is clad in glass to create a constantly changing backdrop of reflected sunlight throughout the day and a beacon of light at night. Within, the library is conceived as a continuous looping circulation system, providing several different types of study environments with different views of the surrounding landscape. Beneath this floating aerial form is its counterpart, an earthbound series of volumes clad in local sandstone that contain the classrooms, auditorium and courtroom. These elements surround a broad commons area that opens to the landscape and follows its stepping contours, directly connecting the school’s interior programs to the surrounding campus.
Beneath the library, the ground plane flows unimpeded, linking interior and exterior space to foster the feeling of openness and accessibility emblematic of the school’s progressive goals. The building includes a 250-seat auditorium; a moot courtroom equipped with the latest in trial technology; large classrooms as well as intimate seminar rooms; legal clinic and student organisations suites; and outdoor terraces and reading gardens. Nearly every inch of the Lewis Katz Building is designed to draw students and faculty together in a close community in which students develop the analytical, communication and interpersonal skills the legal profession requires.