Law Building Lecture Hall Renovation
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI | KANSAS CITY, MO
DATE: 2020 ROLE: Architecture and Interior Design COST: $2M SIZE: 4,000 SF
Originally built in 1978, the UMKC Law Building includes multiple large lecture halls originally designed for a teacher-centered, lecture-based vision of classroom learning. Legal education has since evolved from this classroom configuration, characterized as “the sage on the stage”, to a more interactive “guide on the side” approach.
This renovation brought two lecture halls into ADA compliance, transforming the traditional tiered seating arrangements into flexible dual-use active learning environments. The infill of the existing stepped structure was carefully coordinated with additional floor access power as well as MEP building systems. Interior finishes, flexible furniture, and lighting as well as new audio-visual equipment were integrated to maximize the potential for remote learning. The tiered steps provided a unique entry experience and casual lounge tier for both halls.
The renovated lecture halls/classrooms now allow the professors to move furniture to accommodate their changing pedagogy, as well as freedom to move throughout the classroom to facilitate small group interactions. Practical skills training is possible with an informal “stage” area, ultimately providing the opportunity to weave together theory and practice more holistically in these spaces.