New York Law School


New York Law School

New York, New York

200,000 (new); 150,000 (renovation) GSF, 18,580 (new); 13,935 (renovation) M2

Architecture, Lighting Design, Programming

Award for Excellence in Architecture, Gold Award -- Educational/Institutional, Merit Award -- Institutional Architecture

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“The new building is an embodiment of our ideals. It presents a vibrant, activist, transparent face to the world and simultaneously houses the deep, collaborative culture of our school.”

—Richard Matasar, Former Dean and President


For an urban law school in the heart of a bustling financial district, the opportunity to connect the teaching of law with its real-world practice surrounding it is a strong impulse. For New York Law School, SmithGroupJJR devised an architectural and urban response to its bustling site, which has been a key component of the school's Lower Manhattan identity.

The school’s existing facilities consisted of disconnected and incongruent structures, including several 19th-century buildings that were never appropriately adapted for contemporary legal education. Working with BKSK Architects, the design team opened walls and used transparency and connections to link the school's three buildings.

Careful and creative uses of limited real estate have helped maximize the law school’s facilities while creating a better sense of community and school image. Many of the design ideas were meant to support its values and legacy of moral obligation, collaboration and public service. The result is a new civic icon for the TriBeCa neighborhood – and built proof of the school's commitment to advancing the legal profession, lifelong learning, and activism.

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