SOM designs this courthouse with the brightness and warmth of fort lauderdale

sustainable architecture in florida

The United States General Services Administration (GSA) announced that it has approved design concept by skidmore, duos and merrill/SOM for a new federal courthouse in fort lauderdale, florida. the building will rise ten stories high on the south bank of the tarpon river in the heart of fort lauderdale, while providing important new green spaces for city residents – including a riverside pathway that preserves the site’s existing mangroves .

SOM’s design for the 252,000 square foot building combines the principles of classical architecture with state-of-the-art technology and sustainable design. the building is targeting both LEED gold and silver site certification and, through advanced building systems and climate-responsive design, is expected to achieve a 30% reduction in energy consumption from baseline levels. reference.

image © SOM | @skidmoreowingsmerrill

the federal courthouse by SOM

Skidmore, Duos & Merrill/SOM (see more here) Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse, scheduled for completion in 2026, will house the operations of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. it includes twelve courtrooms, seventeen judges’ chambers, as well as workspaces for other federal agencies, including the U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of the US Attorney, the US Probation Office and the US Trustee.

SOM partner Paul Danna told Designboom: “the fort lauderdale federal courthouse embodies the ideals of dignity, transparency and clarity. our design grew out of a careful study of the needs of all participants in legal proceedings, as well as a desire to create a building that symbolizes the culture of fort lauderdale and becomes an integral part of the city’s urban fabric.’

Joseph Ruocco, Principal of SOM, continues: “we wanted to create a building open to the city. to this end, we composed the courthouse as a symmetrical tower rising above a one-story podium, which gives the building an accessible feel and allows us to add new green space throughout the site.’

SOM fort lauderdale courthouse
photo © SOM

celebrate fort lauderdale weather

the exterior of SOM’s fort lauderdale courthouse takes shape with fluted panels of metal and glass. this facade marks a contemporary interpretation of corinthian columns and modulates the bright tropical light of the sun. in the courtrooms on the upper floors of the building, a unique system of light reflection and diffusion will provide natural light while avoiding glare and protecting the privacy of users. combined with the use of natural materials such as oak and local coral stone, this lighting system brings a sense of comfort, light and warmth to these important institutional spaces.

the design of the new courthouse incorporates a variety of forward-looking sustainability features. these include displacement ventilation in the courtrooms, as well as infrastructure to accommodate the addition of a photovoltaic solar panel on the roof of the building.

SOM fort lauderdale courthouse
photo © SOM

project info:

Project title: fort lauderdale federal courthouse

architecture: skidmore, due and merrill / SOM | @skidmoreowingsmerrill

site: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

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