New Georgia State University College of Law Building Wins AIA Georgia People’s Choice Design Award

law school building

ATLANTA—The Georgia State University College of Law building has received the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) – Georgia People’s Choice Design Award.

Media Contact

Wendy Cromwell
Director of Communications   
College of Law

The College of Law competed against 73 other projects in the People’s Choice, Built category, which is voted on by the public, and received 572 votes, 200 more than the second-place winner “Stealth,” a 33-foot-tall concrete sculpture in Midtown Atlanta. The award was announced April 19.

“We are proud that our new building is being recognized for its world-class design, which has had a positive impact on the way faculty teach and students learn,” said Steven J. Kaminshine, dean of the College of Law. “The building is a testament to our connection to the Atlanta community and our commitment to being a leader in reforming legal education.”

The building was designed by Lead Architect Ron Stang of Stevens & Wilkinson and SmithGroup JJR (Washington, D.C.) and built by McCarthy Building Co. It opened last summer at 85 Park Place NE.

“When we started the design process, we knew this was a rare opportunity to design a building that would allow us to efficiently support a modern program of legal education and give our college the flexibility to adapt over time as needs change in both legal education and the legal profession,” said Chip Hill, assistant dean for administration and finance at the College of Law.

Those involved in planning wanted to ensure that the facility was hospitable to students, employees, alumni, clients of the school’s outreach programs and the legal community, Hill said. The award affirms that Georgia State and the architectural team delivered on that vision, Stang said.

“For the project to be designated as a finalist for a 2016 Georgia AIA Design Excellence Award is a fabulous recognition of Georgia State University’s and the Board of Regents’ commitment to build a quality, well-designed law school serving not only the Georgia State community, but the entire urban community downtown,” Stang said.

The building’s modern composition and angular lines give the building a distinct look among the buildings of Atlanta’s downtown central business district.

“Given that the building is nestled between the historic Candler Building and the 50-story Georgia Pacific Center, the angled massing along both street fronts gives the building a little extra room to breathe by creating semi-public plaza spaces,” Stang said. “These public spaces, along with a simple massing composition of exterior materials, which include limestone, zinc panels, and a glass curtain wall, help give Georgia State Law a dynamic presence.”

The feedback the administration has received from prospective students, employees, alumni and members of the legal community has been exceedingly positive, Hill said.

“We continue to celebrate the opportunities the building—designed bottom up to deliver a legal education not just of today but of tomorrow—presents for this law school, our university, the external community and for legal education,” Kaminshine said.