Warren Burger Federal Office Building + U.S. Courthouse Modernization

creating a welcoming environment with a sense of transparency and decorum fitting for a Federal courthouse

The modernization and restoration of the Warren Burger Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) respects the existing mid-century architecture. The modernization seamlessly integrates an effective co-existence of public, common and secured spaces within the building.

A new plaza transforms the entryway into a welcoming transparent environment with luminous planes as extensions of the new lobby ceiling. Light and visibility create a strong spatial sense between inside and out, providing views through the lobby to the new Ceremonial Courtroom beyond.

The lobby, expanded by capturing adjacent rooms, is a “horizontal atrium” animated by hi-traffic public functions including the Jury Assembly Room. Security is integrated as free-floating transparent elements.

Twelve courtrooms were renovated, four restored and five were added. The new courtroom design compliments the mid-century architecture with a simple palette, used judiciously to achieve impact and focus on key elements. Exterior work included plaza redesign, security integration, re-siting of sculpture and marble façade cleaning.



Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Structural, Electrical, Security Design

American Institute of Architects Chicago, Distinguished Building Award, 2010
American Institute of Architects Chicago, Devine Detail Award, 2009
Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, Preservation Award in Sustainable Design, 2009
AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice, Certificate of Recognition, 2009
Construction Communications, Green Building of America Award, 2009
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