By enhancing the old and embracing the new, Berkeley Law finally has a physical complex worthy of its talented inhabitants and their ambitious research and scholarship.

UC Berkeley’s School of Law is regarded as one of the Nation’s preeminent Law Schools. Founded in 1894, the school has been in its current facilities since 1951, where a series of disparate additions diminished campus identity, clarity of entry and ease of way-finding.

Sited on an underutilized courtyard, the addition takes advantage of scarce land by placing two full floors below grade. At grade, a transparent, single-story pavilion, framed by a terraced wall, sun-lite courtyards and a rooftop garden, boasts a multipurpose classroom flanked by a café and student lounge.

Below grade are two levels of reading rooms, seminar rooms, offices, compact shelving, a computer lab, and main reference desk. Together, these elements anchor a vibrant social heart and academic center for the school. “This enterprise embraces the future of legal education and ensures Berkeley Law’s continued leadership as we celebrate our centennial year,” said Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. Using the exterior materials inside unifies indoor and outdoor elements and strengthens connections with the surrounding courtyards.

The new café and student lounge foster creative interaction by providing a wide variety of informal and formal learning environments. Extensive site-work throughout the Law School complex unified its existing and new elements and better connected it with the surrounding campus and urban environment creating a stronger entrance and cohesive campus experience.

In the end, the project’s reuse and expansion significantly minimized the environmental impact by avoiding unnecessary tear-downs and rebuilds. By increasing the longevity of existing facilities through key renovations, and by introducing a new structure that could address critical functional and social needs while gracefully connecting old and new, the design team forged a new presence for Berkeley Law that will endure for another half century.

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team
Jobs
  • Town Planning Manager | Housebuilder in Surrey | 3+ years' PQE

    Are you a Town Planner with some commercial experience under your belt (consultancy or developer)? Would you like to work for a regional housebuild...
    • Lewis Davey
    • Surrey - near M25/M23 junction
  • Principal Planning Consultant (Policy)

    This is a career opportunity for somebody looking to play a key role in the delivery of an effective and efficient planning policy service.
    • Capita
    • Manchester/Salford (North West) or Breckland or North Tyneside or Barnet (North London)
  • Planning Officers

    Work as key members of the Councils development management service providing pre-application advice, dealing with applications and appeals.
    • Chiltern and South Bucks Council
    • Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • Enforcement Officer - Hertfordshire

    A Local Authority in Hertfordshire are looking for an Enforcement Officer to assist them with a backlog of cases for an initial contract of 3-6 months
    • Oyster Partnership
    • Hertfordshire
  • Planning Officer

    Do you want to work for a Planning Authority in a superb world-class location, that also has an outstanding record of achievement?
    • Plymouth City Council
    • Plymouth, Devon