Skip to main content

Law School Addition, Renovation Earns Architecture Award

June 19, 1997
Law School -- Interior
Law School -- Exterior No. 1
Law School -- Exterior No. 2

Recognizing its unique and challenging design, the American Institute of Architects’ Wisconsin chapter has presented its highest award to the University of Wisconsin Law School for its recent addition and renovation.

AIA Wisconsin jurors conferred the group’s Honor Award to the Law School during the organization’s annual convention in Madison.

“The jurors thought it was absolutely one of the most stunning buildings and completely solved in terms of aesthetics and urban design issues,” said architect Ronald Bowen of Bowen Williamson Zimmermann Inc. of Madison, the lead architectural firm for the project.

Bowen said jurors gave high marks for the modern design of the $16.5 million project that compliments the 150 years of architecture on historic Bascom Hill. This design includes a four-story glass atrium with exposed steel beams that links two older Law School buildings.

Out of 88 submissions, AIA Wisconsin jurors gave out just five Merit Awards and the one Honor Award, the group’s highest, Bowen said.

“I’ve had many calls from associates on how great of a building it is and how difficult it is to do something on Bascom Hill,” Bowen added. “It was quite a challenge and quite an opportunity.”

The project’s architectural consultant was Holabird & Root, a Chicago-based architectural and engineering firm with vast experience in designing law schools, law libraries and courtrooms. The general contractor was J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. of Madison.

The Law School project began in 1994, was completed last fall and was dedicated April 25-26. The Law School now houses an expanded law library, two mock courtrooms, several new and renovated classrooms, remodeled office and administrative space and the glass atrium.

The addition and renovation project increased the Law School’s size to 138,000 square feet, up from 93,000 square feet, and includes 21,000 square feet of remodeled existing space.

Private donors, including many Wisconsin law firms and Law School alumni, contributed $6.4 million to the project. The State of Wisconsin contributed $10.1 million.