Georgia State University College of Law Building
Builder Address: JBrogan@McCarthy.com / 404-557-1220
Smith Group JRR; Design Architect / Interior Architecture
Stevens & Wilkinson; Engineer of Record
Harris+Smith; Interior Architects
Eberly & Associates; Civil Engineer
J&A Engineering: Low Voltage, Information Technology/ Security
Waveguide; Audio Visual
404 815-1919 x 45
Anderson Design, Inc. /Landacape Architect
Costing Services Group, Inc.; Construction Estimating
NOVA Engineering and Environmental
Georgia State University’s new 200,000-sf College of Law building occupies an extremely prominent site in the heart of downtown Atlanta and reinforces the University’s unique partnership with downtown Atlanta.
Located on the northern boundary of GSU Campus, overlooking Woodruff Park, the College of Law is embedded in the commercial core of the downtown business district, adjacent two mass transit stations, city and campus bus lines, and the Atlanta Street Car. The masterplan for the College of Law site includes space for additional GSU programs yet to be determined but well positioned to anchor the emerging campus sense of place.
The vision for the project and associated facility characteristics may be broadly summarized as supporting the law school community, connections, and learning, and the new building will facilitate physical aspects associated with each of these. The facility is designed to build a community of learning that fosters these connections and creates spaces where new skills for the practice of modern law can develop.
The lower, below-grade level consists of a 6,000-square-foot, 230-seat moot courtroom and auditorium, which was designed for diverse uses, including practice jury or appellate court, learning, breakout, and legal proceeding areas.
The ground level includes the learning commons, designed as a multi-use hub and the main organizational space in the building. The project team planned its central location on the floor to encourage collaboration and connections within the College of Law and broader community.
The learning commons acts as a gathering and study space, and provides walkable connections to areas created for public programs, including The Center for Clinical Programs, events, and the auditorium on a lower level. A skills suite was designed to include three courtrooms with breakout and deliberation space for simulation and experimental learning.
A mirrored layout of learning spaces, meeting areas and faculty offices was the concept for the second and third levels. These academic floors consist of various layouts, such as for lectures, case-studies, active learning with content sharing, and peer-to-peer learning capabilities.
The fourth floor comprises dedicated spaces for administrative and organizational purposes, for both faculty members and students. Along the east side of the fourth floor are centers and institutes of learning designed with glass walls to create a sense of union, but with ample sound and space barriers.
The law building’s library sits on the fifth and sixth levels, which is the largest part of the overall concept. The library is
made available only for Georgia State University law students, and is designed with a variety of environments, such as study rooms, café’s, classrooms, and an alumni reading room.
The sixth and top level includes an exterior garden terrace with native plantings and an interior reading room with a view overlooking the library and adjacent Woodruff Park. Study and reading rooms were conceptualized to flank instructional technology and lab review rooms available to students.
The College of Law is designed for compliance with the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code and is targeted for
LEED Silver certification.