So when the University embarked on its first major addition since the opening of Hutchins Hall in 1933, preserving the Collegiate Gothic-style architecture was of utmost importance.
One of the focal points of this monumental construction project was a new common area serving as a gathering space for students, faculty and staff. The Robert B. Aikens Commons was built on an unused grassy courtyard between Hutchins Hall and the Legal Research Building. Its glass and steel roof and open design affords unobstructed views of the picturesque stone walls and the beautiful stained glass windows that surround it.
Historic Preservation and Fire Safety
The proximity of the newly constructed common area to Hutchins Hall posed a unique challenge to the building team. Because these structures were too close to each other, the building code required a 2 hour fire rated barrier between them.