New United States Federal Courthouse in Downtown Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Clark Construction & SOM Architects

Clark Construction Design-Build and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architects (SOM)

DI provided full time quality management throughout design and construction for the Clark-SOM Design/Build team on this new, state-of-the-art court facility for the U. S. General Services Administration (GSA). 


The project scope included design and construction of a 550,000 square-foot court building in downtown Los Angeles on a 3.6-acre property. This new facility - referred to as the "Cube" because of its shape - features 24 courtrooms and 32 judicial chambers.  A sky-lit central courtyard at the structure's core provides natural light and circulation to the building's interior spaces. The Cube is anchored by two levels of below-grade parking, as well as mechanical and back-of-house spaces.  The courthouse accommodates the U.S. District Court, U.S. Marshals Services, U.S. Attorneys' Office, a GSA field office, the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Services, and the Federal Public Defender.

The new courthouse is uniquely designed to address the Federal Government's blast and setback requirements, with a unique structural frame that sits back an entire bay around the first floor, providing for 36 additional feet of setback on each side of the building perimeter.

GSA requirements called for the building to achieve LEED® Gold certification, but the design-build team acheived LEED Platinum.  The building envelope features a high-performance faceted curtain wall façade. This system gives the courthouse a lively expression that changes throughout the day and also reduces radiant heat input through the building envelope and provides ample natural light to internal courtrooms and common areas. The plan optimizes the courts program and workflow and, ensures efficient operations and maintenance.


The project was completed in April 2016 and acheived LEED Platinum Certification


  • Green GOOD Design™ Award - European Center for Architecture Art Design and Studies
  • Los Angeles Business Journal Commercial Real Estate Sustainability Gold Award
  • Building Design + Construction - Building Team Gold Award
  • Design-Build Institute of America - Award of Merit, Federal/State/Municipal
  • ENR California - Best Project, Government/Public Building
  • Los Angeles Downtown News - Project of the Year, Downtowners of Distinction
  • US General Services Administration - Honor Award, Design Award: On the Boards
  • Spark Design Awards - Award Winner, Spark:Space
  • Los Angeles Business Council - Award Winner, Under Construction
  • DBIA Western Pacific Region - Project of the Year
  • American Institute of Architects (Los Angeles) - Award Winner, Next Los Angeles Merit Award (Unbuilt Category)
  • The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design - Green GOOD Design
  • Southern California Development Forum - Award Winner, Civic Award
  • American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment - 2018 COTE Top Ten

Photos Courtesy of Clark Construction & SOM Architects