Widener University, School of Law

Wilmington, Delaware

  • FIRM

    Nave Newell, Inc.


    Widener University

  • AREA

    56,000 sq.ft.





After completing an in-depth feasibility study for the renovation and expansion of the law school building, the architect provided complete architectural and civil engineering design services for this fast-track, $7 million project. This new, 56,000-square-foot, four-story addition houses a moot courtroom, classrooms, faculty office, dean’s suites and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$125.00FEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio spaces.

The design integrates the addition with existing facilities that had undergone extensive, ad hoc renovations over a 20-year period. To overcome this challenge and achieve consistency with and accessibility to other law school buildings, an indoor Main Street was designed that formalizes an existing path through the new facility. This was accomplished by relocating the entrance to the library at one end of Main Street and anchoring the other end of the street with the moot courtroom. Upgrading existing life-safety systems to address design issues and comply with the ADA was a critical element in the process.

The moot courtroom is the centerpiece of the expansion, characterized by stepped seating and high-tech acoustics, lighting and electronic systems. The space also is equipped with video cameras and monitors so classes can be broadcast to students at the Harrisburg campus. The faculty offices are consolidated on two floors, while providing direct access to the law clinic space on the lower level. The clinic has a separate entrance to the outside, which serves five separate groups.

Photographer: ©Tim Proctor