The William H. Neukom Building
Take the Tour: Second Floor
Faculty Lounge, Faculty Offices, and The Terrace
Ascend the open–air Barnum Tower to the second floor to arrive at the heart of faculty life at the law school: the terrace, surrounded by the faculty lounge and offices. While open and accessible to all, it is intended to function primarily as the law school's living room. Stop by the glass–walled lounge (4) , a bright space where faculty members collect their mail, enjoy a cup of coffee, and talk informally with colleagues and students. Outside the sliding glass walls, the lounge gives out onto the terrace (5) , where people can gather for al fresco dining or special events. Walking by Franklin Family Fountain, notice how much of the landscaped area and seating is sheltered by a wooden trellis and hanging garden, which allows natural sunlight while still maximizing shade. Take note of the trees and shrubs in both elevated and sunken planter boxes in the courtyard. The elevated boxes can be repositioned by a system of hidden tracks and wheels, allowing the space to be configured either for private or public events. The courtyard is composed of multiple materials for contrasting and complementary textures and colors, including sustainably harvested ipe wood from Brazil, French limestone, metal, terra–cotta roof tile, concrete, and glass. The orthogonal pattern in the concrete wall of the rotunda, the stone jointing of the façade, and the wood trellis panels visually unifies the composition.
Faculty members were directly involved in the conception of their individual office spaces, which were customized with contemporary furnishings according to their needs. Large windows provide views of the surrounding natural setting. State–of–the–art technology promotes low energy consumption: smart thermostats sense when a window is open and lighting controls in each office dim as the sun brightens. The faculty wings with enlarged corridors and natural light are calibrated to create intimate suites for "open door" scholarship and a welcoming atmosphere for students and visiting faculty. Notice the glass–walled bridges (6) , which connect the wings of the building. The dramatic and very visible double–height lounges (7) at the corners of the building are bathed in natural sunlight for most of the day and provide informal seating for individuals and small groups. These interconnected, communal spaces offer a variety of possibilities for faculty and students to have ample space to meet and talk in ways that are sure to lead to innovative legal thinking outside the more structured environs of the classroom.