Cornell University

Cornell Law School - Hughes Hall

Ithaca, NY

Project Details

Hughes Hall Renovation

The renovation of Hughes Hall plays a significant role in modernizing the administration and student services of the prestigious Cornell Law School (CLS). By organizing student and academic programs into a cohesive series of welcoming spaces, the renovation reinforces CLS’s mission and acknowledges its historic heritage and character, while also meeting the needs of faculty and various departments. To meet a significant priority and challenge, the design knits the existing dormitory structure into the daily life of CLS and elevates the entry sequence for both visitors and the Cornell community through enhanced wayfinding, programming of exterior spaces, and visual connection to the magnificent Finger Lakes region.  

Transparent materials, natural lighting, and views to nature help define the spaces and shift opportunities for gathering and informal exchange within the generous and nicely appointed corridors and stairs. A stronger entryway and portico have created celebrated transition space that solidifies identity and improves comfort. Offices for Student Affairs, Alumni Affairs, and Admission/Financial Aid are designed to maximize visibility. Similar functions are located in close proximity to support wayfinding and convenience for the CLS community, as well as visitors.  

The creation of a flexible, multi-functional event space builds fellowship in the CLS community.  Supported by open and simple wayfinding, this event space features refined finishes and furniture and opens to the exterior, weaving the functionality of the space into the context and life of the building and site. 

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