An Architectural Masterpiece

In its humble beginnings, the Beus Center for Law and Society was just a dirt lot. While the plans were in place and money was sent from an assortment of different donors, it was pretty hard to imagine the stretch of nothingness skyrocketing into the beautiful structure it is today. Now the 268,000-sq.-ft. ground-up facility is a staple of the Arizona State University downtown campus, pairing up with the Walter Cronkite building to deliver state-of-the-art education to eager Sun Devil students.

I would sometimes spend the day holed up in my dorm room of Taylor Place; the 11th floor the perfect place to peer down onto the construction below. Taking note of the simple changes to the infant structure made me appreciate the dedication and craftsmanship it took to create such a masterpiece. A beam would pop up from nowhere one day. A crane would magically and delicately place the foundation on another. It was as if puzzle pieces were being perfectly fused together in front of my eyes, each piece playing a part towards my vision of the finished product. My interest in law was very minimal but what intrigued my attention was the design and the process in which this building was being formed.

Moving out of the dorm and into my own apartment was both a blessing and a curse. The new-found independence from my peers was welcoming and needed, but it eliminated my silent watching and tracking the progress of the law building. I would occasionally swing by for an update, but my increasingly busy school schedule and Tempe location made those check-ins less and less frequent. Days turned into weeks, which turned into months; the progress of the building and its attributes slowly slipping from my memory until it was out altogether.

My new-found love of writing and reporting drew me back into the downtown area, as I nabbed a couple journalistic classes in the fall of 2016. I’ll never forget the moment of walking to my first class, and being in the shadow of a behemoth building, wider and more beautiful than I ever imagined. An alternating pattern of reflective glass and multicolored wall lined the outside of the open and welcoming structure. The Beus Center for Law and Society, complete with 18 classrooms, a large lecture hall and a state-of-the-art active learning courtroom classroom was finally complete, and the architectural puzzle in my mind was finally formed. -Austen Browne