Library of the Faculty of LawEdit profile
The number of students enrolled at the University of Zurich's Law Faculty had been increasing steadily over the last few decades. While there were about 600 students in 1962, there were 3500 students with law as their main subject and 1500 that took law as secondary subject in 2005. In 1981, the university decided to put up a new building for the Law Institute between Schönleinstrasse and Rämistrasse. As this new building did not gain the required acceptance of the voters, the Law Institute was granted the old building on 74 Rämistrasse. But the building had to undergo an extensive renovation.In 1989, the then Chief Architect of the Canton, Paul Schatt, awarded the architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava a direct mandate based on the city's Stadelhofen train station that Calatrava had just completed. Calatrava's planning underwent several major changes, but the project was approved in 1999.
The galleries as well as the rear side of the galleries (the library backpack) are now strictly separated from the old building. The use of glass in the area of the cupola and the displacement of the galleries from the courtyard facade allow natural light to enter the gallery workstations from various sides. The static connection with the old building takes place on the sublevel and at the lateral access towers. The galleries are statically mounted in the lateral concrete cores and are supported by pillars on the rear side of the galleries (the library backpack).
The new building is strictly separated from the old building from an organizational point of view as well. At either end of the gallery is an elevator, the staircase, and the access to the building services. On each level, there is both a ladies’ and a men’s restroom. There is a total of 480 study places, 250 of which are connected to the electricity mains and have IT access. The lighting can be switched on individually at every study place. On the rear side of the galleries (the library backpack) there is one "parlatorium" on each of the five stories where students can meet to exchange ideas as well as one room for photocopying. A total of 5000 running meters of bookshelves can house ca. 150.000 books. In the area at the back of the old building an addition takes up the study places for research and PhD. students as well as the administration of the Law Faculty.