In September of 1984, Kallmann McKinnell & Wood was selected by the University to undertake the development of a space
improvement and expansion study for the Law School. During the next several years, a full program for space needs was prepared which was subsequently applied to more than twenty individual expansion options. Two phases of design studies focused on providing new and relocated space within or contiguous to the Law School's 1961 nine-story building.
These planning studies evaluated existing and proposed uses for the 200,000 gsf provided in the building, and explored different
options for adding the 67,000 gsf of new space called for in the program. Phase I (1985) proposed a new twelve-story tower facing Amsterdam Avenue. Phase II (1988) expanded the site to include the adjacent plaza and residence in the planning, resulting in a proposal for a low-rise wrapper of accommodation at the base of the existing tower.
The projects concentrated on the following design issues:
1) Mediating between the predominant McKim, Mead and White neoclassical vocabulary of the adjacent campus buildings
and the 1960's modernism of the Law School Building.
2) Improving the entry and circulation sequence.
3) Improving the two levels of outdoor spaces surrounding the building.
Beyond the physical space improvements, the project sought to provide the existing building with a new identity and a stronger
sense of campus.
The fall of 1987 brought the Feasibility and Planning phases to completion. The selected scheme represents a growth of
approximately 45,000 sf for the school, in conjunction with substantial renovations to almost all of their existing 200,000 sf
facility. The design strategy was to focus new construction around an outdoor courtyard away from the peripheral plaza on
Amsterdam Avenue in order to provide the building complex with a new center. Furthermore, by the addition of a tall volume and
entry facade on 116th Street, the significantly enlarged Law School campus was to be given a greater sense of enclosure, identity, and presence.
The project was put on hold due to funding problems.