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