SOM in the Press

The Elevated Cube

Source: Modern Steel Construction

The concept of “floating” isn’t typical of courthouses.

The norm for such facilities is to project authority while staying rooted in the foundations of justice. But the new United States Courthouse in Los Angeles, currently under construction, takes a different approach.

Developed in close collaboration with the Clark Construction Group, the design concept for the 633,000-sq.-ft facility, scheduled to open next July, is based on a novel idea of elevating the building above a large civic plaza by removing all vulnerable ground-level perimeter columns and supporting the entire structure on hardened-concrete shear wall cores. Since none of the perimeter columns extend to the ground level, the exterior loads are supported by a frame designed for redundancy around the entire building perimeter.

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