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Wayne State University - Law School

A new image for an urban law school

Detroit, Michigan

The jury is delivering their verdict. The lawyer looks cool and collected. The audience members still their breath, and the bell rings the end of class. That’s the sort of scene that plays out in the newly redesigned Wayne State University (WSU) Law School.

The Law School Addition creates a new image for WSU Law and presents a new public face for the northern edge of the Wayne State University campus, serving as a gateway for many of its students and visitors. Flexibility of space to accommodate many different functions and pedagogies was a key component to the planning and design of the facility.

A major element in the design is the auditorium and courtroom, conceived in a visually unique circular form. As the heart of the new building, it allows for gatherings of the entire student body, but also functions as a first-class trial courtroom. The addition includes administrative and faculty offices, related support functions, student services, and a student organization suite.

The project included extensive re-planning of the existing law library, dramatically improving its overall functionality. With this addition and renovation, the visibility and image of WSU’s law school have been enhanced—within the campus and within the legal community.

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