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Finalists Chosen in Law Building Design Competition

National, International Firms Compete for Opportunity to Design $100 Million Center

September 12, 2008
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

Five architecture firms with national and international reputations have been named as finalists in the University of Baltimore's ongoing competition to design a new home for the School of Law. The firms—Baltimore's Ayers/Saint/Gross, Inc., in association with Behnisch Architekten of Stuttgart, Germany; Cho Benn Holback + Associates, Inc. of Baltimore, in association with Foster + Partners of London; Moshe Safdie and Associates, Inc. of Somerset, Mass., in association with Hord/Coplan/Macht of Baltimore; SmithGroup of Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore's Ziger/Snead, in association with Dominique Perrault Architecture of Paris—were selected on Sept. 11 by a committee of university personnel.

Steve Cassard, UB's vice president for Facilities Management and Capital Planning, said the selection of the five finalists involved an extensive review of each firm’s capabilities, as well as close consideration of their visions and design approaches for a law center that will be a landmark of Baltimore's midtown.

"This building will be a major development for the center of the city," Cassard said. "The project site—along Charles Street, the city's spine, and next to the Jones Falls Expressway and Penn Station, its largest transportation arteries—insists on a bold, forward-looking statement about our belief in Baltimore. The law school's reach into the life of our city and state only added to our thinking. Now we have five world-class firms and their partners competing for the opportunity to deliver a sustainable design that will achieve our high architectural aspirations."

The design competition will culminate in a presentation at UB on Nov. 14, during which each finalist will offer their design concepts to an advisory jury panel.

Roger K. Lewis, professor emeritus in the School of Architecture at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an award-winning designer and architecture critic, was named in July as the competition adviser for the project. The jury panel will include five nationally recognized and widely respected architectural practitioners.
 
The $107 million project entails the creation of a 190,000-square-foot law school on a UB-owned parcel at Charles Street and Mt. Royal Avenue. Last June, UB announced a record-setting $5 million donation to the project from UB School of Law alumnus Peter Angelos, LL.B. '61.

Baltimore's Abell Foundation provided $150,000 to fund the design competition for the new facility.
 
The project's timeline is as follows:

  • Contract awarded to architect – January to February 2009
  • Design phase; selection of contractor – February 2009 to May 2010
  • Construction – June 2010 to July 2012
  • Opening – Fall 2012

The existing law building, the John and Frances Angelos Law Center, was named after Angelos's parents as part of an earlier gift in 1991. The new building will retain that name upon opening in 2012, and the current facility will be renovated at that time to accommodate UB's growing academic programs.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts and the Merrick School of Business.