On the heels of its centennial, the University of Chicago Law School began renovating key areas of its landmark, late-1950s campus. Key to the renovation was respecting Eero Saarinen’s mid-century modern law library while enhancing its functionality, quality and experience.
New technologies allowed removal of some stacks, opening space for circulation, study and gathering. To counter a claustrophobic atmosphere created by low ceilings and very limited daylight, acoustical wood ceilings and improved lighting were installed. A new central stair provides an engaging focal point and an energizing connecting sculpture for the revitalized library.
The project transformed what was, in essence, a warehouse for books into a warm and even well-lit space in which students would be inclined to interact and learn. The building is now warm and inviting – and functional for another fifty years.
Saul Levmore, Dean of Law School
Increases small and large group collaboration areas by nearly 30%