Since we first announced that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was chosen to design the new federal courthouse in Downtown LA, construction for the new cubic courthouse at the corner of First Street and Broadway began on August 8.
The approx. 600,000 square-foot building was proposed back in 2001 and approved by Congress for $400 million, but the project came to a halt in 2006 when the Government Accountability Office found that costs had tripled due to delays and design changes. The new $319 million courthouse -- designed by SOM in partnership with Clark Construction -- will be an addition to the revived Civic Center area, as reported by the LA Times.
Aiming for LEED Platinum, the serrated façade of the "Cube" is designed to achieve a north/south orientation to maximize views while reducing solar heat gain by 47%. The building has water and electricity conservation strategies and a 400 kW roof-mounted photovoltaic array. Part of the courthouse's design is to appear floating over its stone base which also makes it safe from earthquakes and bomb threats. The cubic form of the building is described as an updated, abstracted version of archetypal Federal architecture.
The courthouse will accommodate 24 courtrooms, 32 judicial chambers, house the U.S. District Court and the Central District of California, and provide related services and facilities for the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office, Federal Public Defender, and the General Services Administration.
Completion of the project is expected by 2016.
Live webcam coverage at the construction site can be seen on SOM's website here.
All photos courtesy of SOM.