When you think of buildings that are architecturally inspiring, it's typically museums and other grand public buildings that come to mind; law schools probably aren't at the top of the list. But German architecture firm Behnisch Architekten aims to change that with the new John and Frances Angelos Law Center, which was recently completed at the University of Baltimore. The state-of-the-art building is expected to serve as a social nexus and catalyst for the urban campus, and the LEED-Platinum building will also provide some serious energy savings for the university.
Behnisch Architekten was selected to design the new law center after winning an international design competition in 2008. But the building isn’t just nice to look at; its most impressive attribute is its energy performance. The building is expected to achieve 43 percent energy savings, thanks in large part to a structurally-integrated heating and cooling system that is paired with a hybrid ventilation system. That will come in Baltimore’s humid summers.
The building’s occupants will be able to control operable windows to let fresh air in, and they’ll also be notified of “favorable outdoor conditions” via a green light next to the operating switch, according to the architects. Additionally, the windows will feature automated venetian blinds that will block solar penetration, helping to keep the building naturally cool in the summer. The building also features LED lighting throughout, and it will feature a large rainwater harvesting tank.
Since it was completed earlier this year, the law center has been racking up the awards. So far, it has been honored by the US Green Building Council Maryland, it was shortlisted at the World Architecture Festival, and according to Bustler, it also recieved France’s Energy Performance + Architecture Award this year.