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Connecting community

University of Houston,
John M. O’Quinn Law Building
Houston, TX

Shaping a place that promotes community engagement while providing a modern, interdisciplinary legal education in a student-focused environment.
The John M. O’Quinn Law Center gives a new home to the University of Houston Law Center and welcomes the surrounding Houston community. The building includes instructional spaces, advocacy skills labs, a courtroom, and event facilities, and a law library.
The law center is equally inviting for students, faculty and visitors, while also welcoming members of the Houston Community for whom the Law Center provides essential legal services within its Law Clinic.
With community spaces that frame views to the city beyond, the building makes clear its important connection to the City of Houston. Using materials to ground it within its context, the building both responds to the long term goals of the campus plan while creating an iconic image for the Law Center.
A series of double height spaces connected with communicating stairs provide flexible collaboration areas for both study and events, with a palette of natural materials and textures that create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The openness allows serendipitous social connections to take place, strengthening the sense of community within the Law Center.
A variety of study spaces in the library give options from collaborative group study to focused individual study. A daylit reading room, student lounge, and more casual seating areas ensure the building is a place for all members of the community to thrive.