SOM in the Press

San Diego's New Urban Courthouse is a Modern, Safer Alternative to the Old One

Image © Alan Silverman

Source: Los Angeles Times

Stretching 22 stories into the sky above downtown San Diego, the new $555.5-million state courthouse is a high-tech marvel but also offers some practical safety improvements.

For instance, defendants transported from jail to court will no longer be escorted down the same crowded hallways as lawyers, jurors and witnesses like they have for decades in the existing downtown courthouse, where in some places the groups are separated only by a sheriff’s deputy.


Project architect Javier Arizmendi with Skidmore Owings & Merrill calls the 48-foot atrium the “heart” of the building — a light-filled space with 19, 42-foot tall windows. It’s the place where lawyers, litigants and the public will come together before heading into courtrooms.

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