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Biddle Law Library

University of Pennsylvania Biddle Law Library – Master Plan and Legal Skills Center

Philadelphia, PA

The Biddle Law Library at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School recognized the traditional organization of their six-story library, full of book stacks and study carrels, wasn’t meeting the needs of their modern, tech based student body.

MAI, in collaboration with library staff, law school administration and current students, researched what a modern law library could be, and developed a master plan for the structure that integrated technology, increased collaboration spaces and group teaching spaces, and reincorporated underused space while keeping the best of the traditional quiet study zones and access to information.

Out of the master plan came the idea to convert an underused periodicals space into a Legal Skills Center for first year law students to learn and improve their legal writing skills. The existing skylight and signature circular window were used to create a central zone for students to meet with their advisors and to study. Advisor offices and huddle rooms ring the space, featuring glass fronts to create an openness and a feel of accessibility throughout the space.