Inviting and accessible to all, the building satisfies the strict functional requirements of the federal courts while reinforcing the central importance of jurisprudence.
The goal was to provide the federal court system with larger, more advanced facilities in downtown Omaha while stimulating the development of the surrounding central business district. Space requirements were developed by projecting court expansion over a ten-year period. The building thus opened with nine courtrooms and a wide range of court-related facilities, with the flexibility to house twelve courtrooms in the future. The four-square fenestration pattern echoes the interior organization, where courtrooms are arranged in quadrants around a central atrium.
3.67 acres, a two-block site in the central business district of downtown Omaha (site coverage: 1.37 acres)
336,000 ft2 / 31,000 m2 gross area; Court of Appeals courtroom, special proceedings courtroom, District courtrooms, magistrate courtrooms, bankruptcy courtroom, judges' chambers, grand jury suite, jury assembly room, law library, pre-trial and probation services, offices for federal agencies; central hall; landscaped public spaces; surface parking
United States General Services Administration
Architecture; exterior envelope; interior design of public spaces and courtrooms
The atrium rises above the roofline with a petal-like aluminum crown to shelter the courtrooms and celebrate the existence of a vital civic space downtown.
Rising seventy feet to a skylight and surrounded by galleries, the octagonal great hall is functionally and symbolically the public heart of the courthouse.
Structural: DLR Group, Omaha, NE; Mechanical: DLR Group, Omaha, NE; Courts Programming and Planning: Gruzen Samton LLP, New York; Images: Farshid Assassi, Timothy Hursley