McCarthy, HMC Architects and Brooks + Scarpa joined forces to participate in the design-build, design competition for the new United States courthouse in Los Angeles. As a shortlisted finalist, the contractor-led design-build team was selected to compete thru the General Services Administration two-stage Design Excellence program. The approximately 550,000-SF high-rise building located at 1st and Hill Street is designed to accommodate a future 175,000-SF federal office building. The proposed 320-foot tall structure is designed to be certified LEED Platinum and will save nearly two million gallons of water per year.

Inspired by the interweaving of a grand natural arch embedded with a memory of the scales of Lady Justice, the proposed design concept symbolizes the strength, dignity and balanced fairness of the Federal Court. As the visitor approaches they will discover that the acanthus leaf pattern ornaments both the precast and the glazing, creating a connection to the iconic Corinthian columns at the entry to the U.S. Supreme Court — an interpretation in modern materials that connects to the best traditions of American justice.

The design delivers functional efficiency, security and accessibility for the Court, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the other tenants and users. The design-build team’s collaborative effort resulted in a project that exceeds the GSA’s sustainability and energy conservation goals with proven, durable, low-maintenance strategies to deliver a LEED Platinum courthouse.

Leadership Team:
John McRitchie: Principal-In-Charge, McCarthy Building Companies
Kate Diamond, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C: Co-Lead Designer, HMC Architects
Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA: Co-Lead Designer, Brooks + Scarpa

Project Team:
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. (Prime/General Contractor)
HMC Architects (Architect)
Brooks + Scarpa (Architect)
The Olin Partnership (Landscape Architect)
Psomas (Civil)
Thornton Tomasetti (Structural + Blast + Curtainwall)
Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc. (Fire, Life Safety)
WSP Flack + Kurtz (MEP)
WSP Built Ecology (LEED/Sustainability)
Waveguide (Acoustics/Low Voltage/Media/Security)
The Schachinger Group (Vertical Transportation/Loading)
Schuff Steel (Subcontractor)
Clark Pacific Precast (Subcontractor)
Enclos Corp (Subcontractor)
Pan Pacific Plumbing (Subcontractor)
Control Air Conditioning (Subcontractor)