Villanova University

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School of Law

“"A magnificent Structure. It reflects the spiritual dimension, the mission, of the University.””

—Father Peter Donohue, University President

Description

Villanova's requirements for a new School of Law building included a stimulating, professional setting for study that reflects the school's focus on an engaging student experience. SmithGroupJJR carefully programmed the facility to account for necessary improvements and future growth, through researched benchmarking and rethinking trends in legal education.

Contrary to tradition, the design located faculty offices adjacent to the main classroom corridor to promote faculty-student interaction. A two-story commons space visually links – but acoustically separates – the library, social café, reading rooms, and faculty corridor, resulting in a hub for meeting, studying, socializing, teaching and events. The new facility also houses a 45,000-square-foot law library located on four levels, including formal and informal reading rooms, collaborative study rooms, and a coffee bar adjacent to the library entry.

Sited on a gently sloping, elevated site, the 170,000-square-foot facility serves as a beacon to the adjacent main campus, yet respects the surrounding residential community by presenting a more conservative face to neighbors.

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