2017 Best of Design Awards for Building of the Year – Southwest: Arizona State University Beus Center for Law and Society
Architect: Ennead Architects
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
The Beus Center for Law and Society (BCLS), the new home to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, reimagines the traditional law school as a public building. Located at the heart of ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, the design embodies the law school’s transformative pedagogical approach to legal education, which stems from a deeply rooted commitment to educating students and citizens on the importance of the law in shaping society. The building’s permeable courtyard massing, with a north-south pedestrian slice through its social core, invites all into the heart of the institution, exposing the public to its three grand double-height communal spaces: the Great Hall, the Law Library and the Law Courtyard. The purposefully blurred line between public and private creates a unique urban environment aimed at encouraging vibrant connections between the College of Law, the network of downtown legal professionals, and the larger Phoenix community.
“The Beus Center appears solid and grounded while expressing a lightness and translucency through its innovative facade treatment and bold structural moves. Simultaneously, it acts as an icon for the city and a beacon that welcomes the community inside.” —Nathaniel Stanton, Principal, Craft Engineer Studio (Juror)