Designed by Tomas Rossant / Ennead Architects, in collaboration with Jones Studio, the six-story, 280,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Beus Center for Law and Society (BCLS) was conceived and developed with openness to the public in mind, as a unique urban environment where society and the study and practice of law converge. The building’s breezeway between the West and East wings creates an inviting, engaging, and accessible pathway for people to connect with the law, as well as the law school. It also brings more daylight into the building. The law library is unconventionally configured to be without borders or thresholds: stacks and study spaces extend to the upper levels along all circulation paths, promoting informal intellectual and social interchange between students, faculty, and visitors. Open-air walkways bridge the east and west portions of the building, stitching together the breezeway and providing access to a suspended double-height reading room on the north, and two stories of legal think tank spaces on the south. The transparency of the expansive bi-folding glass door at the front of the W. P. Carey Foundation Armstrong Great Hall unifies the indoor and outdoor space and allows the hall to act as the public’s “legal living room.” An innovative retractable tiered seating system allows the Great Hall to be converted from a socially dynamic arrangement to a more formal auditorium configuration, providing flexibility while offering a unique civic space to the downtown Phoenix community. Its welcoming gesture of openness clearly communicates and embodies the overarching message of ASU Law’s new home — that our laws and the quality of our society are inextricably linked.
Sustainability was a key driver throughout the design process. Beyond the naturally self-shading massing of the overall building, the saw-toothed configuration of the outer building facade, comprised of Arizona sandstone with aluminum and glass windows, has been designed to achieve a higher than standard level of thermal performance, responding to solar orientation, window size, and programmatic requirements. Mechanically, the building incorporates energy-efficient technologies, including chilled beams and under-floor displacement cooling. BuroHappold Engineering provided integrated MEP engineering, structural engineering, lighting design, energy analysis, and sustainability consulting services, recognizing that the new Beus Center for Law and Society demanded a highly integrated design approach in which building systems and key design elements work in concert in order to achieve design and performance goals. DPR Construction, with its expertise in sustainable and Lean construction methods, also played a central role in this highly collaborative building process. DPR, an early adopter of integrated project delivery, Lean management, and other collaborative methods, strives to continuously push the industry forward with the help of IPD and Lean specialists. Given the complexity of the building process, the BCLS project team used Lean methodology and building information modeling (BIM) to eliminate unknown variables while successfully meeting cost, schedule, and design quality goals. DPR’s award-winning Phoenix regional headquarters was the first of its size in the world to achieve Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB) Certification from the International Living Future Institute. ACLS serves as another example of how an adaptive response to an extreme desert environment may be integrated into an efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible building via innovative building solutions BCLS is expected to reduce energy consumption by 37 percent compared to a baseline building and is calculated to have the fourth lowest EUI (Energy Use Intensity) of any of the 57 buildings analyzed at ASU.