State buildings are notoriously opaque. Often constructed under the auspices of a Kafkaesque bureaucracy, innovative design elements are often sidled in the name of function over fashion. However, the newly revitalized, 400,000-square-foot US Federal Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi, as designed by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, is seeking to put a stop to all that and aims to achieve LEED Silver in the process. At a cost of $122 million, the project, which replaced the original courthouse constructed in the 1930s, identified and resolved more than 7,000 building-systems issues and incorporates an open rotunda at the center of the structure as an architectural homage to other federal architecture. The outer walls are adorned with large windows and courtrooms are flanked by large bay windows, encouraging a new sense of transparency in a formerly cloistered space.
Spotlight: US Federal Courthouse, Jackson, MS
By Benjamin van Loon September 27, 2012