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University of Wisconsin-Madison Levy Hall

Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin-Madison Levy Hall

Madison, WI

[Levy Hall] will modernize the student learning experience and build research connections on campus, better serving the needs of our growing undergraduate population.

Eric Wilcots, Dean, University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Letters & Science

Irving & Dorothy Levy Hall is an inviting new gateway building on campus for the humanities, bringing the University’s ethnic and religious studies programs as well as the Department of History together under one roof. Beyond accommodating growing undergraduate enrollment, the project advances the conversation on the importance of investing in historically marginalized communities.

Engaging faculty, students, and staff early in the design discussion allowed us to hear their experiences of space and their vision for an inclusive and welcoming new building. From these conversations arose their strong desire for each department to retain its unique qualities—via artwork, cultural rituals, and communal gathering spaces—while also forging a new identity from this collective of academic departments.

Our design honors their wishes by featuring a series of interconnected, transparent spaces that sweep upward through the building in what we call a “nexus” of gathering. Rather than placing all departments on public display around a grand atrium, this nexus configuration offers subtle sightlines connecting the departments while still protecting their own respective spaces in the building.

Across thirteen classrooms–from large auditorium-style lecture halls to smaller seminar rooms—flexible, open floor plans and modern technology promote excellence in teaching and learning, while informal gathering areas encourage spontaneous interdepartmental collaboration. As the first new classroom building for UW Madison’s College of Letters & Science in nearly half a century, Levy Hall sets a new campus precedent as a place where students of all backgrounds can feel safe, seen, and inspired in a truly inclusive academic facility.




RAMLOW/STEIN Architecture + Interiors