The Cambridge Law Faculty and the Squire Law Library are housed in a building which is both distinctive and successful and has been our home since 1995.
Designed by the already Sir Norman Foster, now Lord Foster, OM, in the early 1990s, it makes a bold contribution to the University’s Sidgwick site.
There are two magical times to approach the building: the first is the evening when the building blazes with light; the other is after fresh snow. No wonder that one guest to Cambridge put the Law Faculty building as the second most wonderful building here - after King's College chapel.
The structure of the Law Faculty building is simple. A long building with an arch of glass to the north and solid sections beyond, which encases six floors, the lowest underground, and with a distinctive taper to a sharp west end. The top three floors provide the latest home for the Squire Law Library.
Teaching rooms are spread throughout the building, as are rooms for Faculty members and research students. A five-storey atrium dominates the prow and at lower ground level there is a cafeteria, and a large area for sitting and chatting. Wide and generous staircases run along the side of the atrium allowing easy movement between the floors and the casual informal interaction of people coming and going. Sometimes there is the excitement of watching the cleaners as they abseil their way down the great fritted glass windows.
The building was designed to bring all the Faculty teaching into one place – we had previously lectured on many different sites - and to support the never-ending increase and variety of teaching formats and resource needs. In all this we get full support from our highly-skilled administrative team.
The whole purpose is to enable all who come here to work to carry out their research and learning in an atmosphere of collegiality and intellectual challenge. In this it succeeds.