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UB law debuts new building

Say hello to the new $107 million John and Frances Angelos Law Center (left), scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2012 and hold its first classes in the spring semester of 2013. The image is looking north from the intersection of Charles Street and Mt. Royal Avenue.

The rendering, plus floor plans and a 3-D model, were displayed three times Thursday – first receiving rave reviews from the state’s Architectural Review Board and Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel and finally during a community briefing Thursday night at UB’s student center (where I saw it).

Stefan Behnisch, whose German architecture firm is teaming with Baltimore’s Ayers/Saint/Gross Inc. on the project, took community members through the 12-story glass building. The law school will hold 1,100 students and will feature lots of open and public space to promote interaction, as well as an atrium the full height of the building. It will also be LEED certified, although the exact level of environmental friendliness has yet to be determined.

The glass facade will control the amount of sunlight entering the building and will make the building look different to passersby depending on the time of day, Behnisch said.

The building will become the first landmark visible to people leaving Penn Station, Behnisch said, so the goal was to make it both blend in and stand out in the neighborhood.

“I think it defines…the urban fabric,” he said.

Steve Cassard, UB’s vice president for facilities and capital planning, said the project remains on schedule and within the budget.