Creating a home for Tennessee’s first new law school in nearly a century, Belmont University’s Baskin Center blends the traditional architectural palette of Belmont’s campus with the stately four-sided articulation reminiscent of historic courthouses across the South.

The exterior design of the brick and limestone building includes a copper-roofed domed octagonal rotunda and four classical gabled porticos, each representing a type of law: local, state, federal, and God’s. The south exterior features an outdoor patio with pergola.

Inside, the Baskin Center contains more than a dozen classrooms, a 21st Century trial courtroom, an appellate courtroom, a two-story law library, and more than 20 faculty offices. The key interior feature in the center of the building is an 80-foot-high rotunda, whose glass oculus represents the “eye of God” guiding human law. Corridors radiating off each side of the rotunda area make the octagonal granite-floored lobby into a crossroads, creating an intentional interacting place for students and faculty. The lobby also serves another purpose, as a perfect space to accommodate events.

The minimization of the building’s footprint contributes to LEED® points as it covers five levels of underground parking for 520 vehicles. Five percent of the parking is designated for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and carpool vehicles; electric charging stations are provided. A geothermal system provides stable temperature pre-heating and cooling for the building, and coupled with highly efficient water source heat pumps, supports 27 percent energy savings.

Photos © Kyle Dreier Photography