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United States Courthouse Design-Build Competition Finalist

Brooks + Scarpa

Shared By

hmcarchitects, HMC Architects

Project Name

United States Courthouse Design-Build Competition Finalist


1st and Hill Street


Project Status

Concept Proposal

Year Completed



550,000 sq. feet


U.S. General Services Administration



  • Landscape Architect: The Olin Partnership
  • Civil Engineer: Psomas
  • Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
  • Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc.
  • WSP Flack + Kurtz
  • WSP Built Ecology
  • Waveguide
  • The Schachinger Group
  • Schuff Steel
  • Clark Pacific Precast
  • Enclos Corp
  • Pan Pacific Plumbing
  • Control Air Conditioning

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Project Description

McCarthy/HMC Architects/Brooks + Scarpa have released their proposal for the Design Excellence/design-build competition for the new United States courthouse in Los Angeles. The contractor-led design-build team was selected to compete thru the General Services Administration two-stage Design Excellence program. The approximately 550,000-SF high-rise building located at 1st and Hill Street is designed to accommodate a future 175,000-SF federal office building. The proposed 320-foot tall structure is designed to be certified LEED Platinum and will save nearly two million gallons of water per year.

Design Concept:
Inspired by the interweaving of a grand natural arch embedded with a memory of the scales of Lady Justice who represents the allegorical personification of the moral force of our judicial systems, the proposed design symbolizes the strength, dignity and balanced fairness of the Federal Court. As the visitor approaches they will discover that the acanthus leaf pattern ornaments both the precast and the glazing, creating a connection to the iconic Corinthian columns at the entry to the U.S. Supreme Court — an interpretation in modern materials that connects to the best traditions of American justice.

The design delivers functional efficiency, security and accessibility for the Court, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the other tenants and users. The design-build team’s collaborative effort resulted in a project that exceeds the GSA’s sustainability and energy conservation goals with proven, durable, low-maintenance strategies to deliver a LEED Platinum courthouse.

550,000-SF High-rise Building
24 District Courtrooms
32 Chambers

Leadership Team:
John McRitchie: Principal-In-Charge, McCarthy Building Companies
Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA: Co-Lead Designer, Brooks + Scarpa
Kate Diamond, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C: Co-Lead Designer, HMC Architects
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