SOM is moving forward with the design of its federal courthouse at Ft. Lauderdale | News


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The latest high-profile architectural addition to the Fort Lauderdale skyline advances this week as the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced its approval of SOM’s design concept for a new federal courthouse in 252,000 square feet.

The development will target LEED Gold and SITES Silver certifications in a scheme that combines classic influence with cutting-edge technology.

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The ten-story building will house the Federal District Court District and a slate of other government agencies, including the US Marshals Service. A focal point of the development is the inclusion and elevation of a well-planned public space, which is represented in the form of a new riverside pathway that will help preserve the mangrove adjacent to the Tarpon River.

“We wanted to create a building that opens up to the city,” said Joseph Ruocco of SOM. “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 spaces on whole site.”

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SOM says the design evolved from an in-depth study of the needs around which users of the justice system oriented themselves into a physical embodiment of the ideals of dignity, transparency and clarity. The courthouse will be characterized by a fluted exterior intended to evoke Corinthian columns and an interior beset by local materials and an influx of natural light intended to provide a sense of comfort and privacy.

A photovoltaic roof will be installed. SOM says the building will achieve a 30% reduction in baseline energy consumption levels. The courthouse will be completed in 2026.

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