GSA Design Excellence: 2008 GSA Design Awards

Uploaded by usgsa on 07.08.2012

Eugene Federal Courthouse. What was interesting to
us was that of all the projects that we reviewed,
Eugene seemed to be an exceptional example, from
design to interiors to graphic design to
construction, and aspects of sustainability,
certainly the incorporation and art and
architecture. WhatÕs unique about this project
and what the jury reacted positively was that it
was a new interpretation of what a contemporary
courthouse can be. This particular project creates
a unique iconic solution to the building typology
by taking the courtrooms and the chambers, and
creating memorable iconic element that sits on a
very efficient base that contains the tenant and
office functions of the courthouse.
Waynell Morris
United States Courthouse, Eugene, Oregon. The jury
made this award to celebrate the integration of
the artwork from single stand-alone object to an
integrated system in a series of transparent and
translucent walls, that celebrated community and
place, process and the system of justice. The
project is an exemplary example of art and
architecture, that brings together the voices of
creativity, architect, engineer, artist and
community representative.
This project was
exemplary for its response to some really
interesting and unconventional courthouse
architecture, that used certain collages that give
a broad diversity of materials, and the
architecture signage reflected this range, adding
not only a functional element of wayfinding that
informs, provides directional information and
orientation, but also interprets the building in
very poetic ways. The signage is not so much
applies as it grows coherently and organically out
of the architecture. A very large and very poetic
glass mural in the main lobby features some
fragments of the script of the U.S. Constitution
that brings a federal presence to the building.
The Wayne Lyman Morse U.S. Courthouse in Eugene,
Oregon. The jury was very impressed with the
teamÕs collaboration and the fact that they used
some progressive concepts as building information
modeling and sharing that information model,
actually using it for things such as fabrication
taken directly from the model. They also used the
CMC contracting approach very successfully. Also
incorporated value engineering throughout the
process and also did that because they had the
contractor and key subcontractors were actually
brought on board early in the process.
The United States Courthouse
in Springfield, Massachusetts,
clearly the success of this design falls into
three areas. First, the balance between the
transparency thatÕs desired and the security
thatÕs required inherently in courthouse design.
Secondly, the way that the design was how to
evolve and revolve around two magnificent and
historic trees that are thought to predate the
United States. Finally, in the obvious care and
crafting of the architecture that is timeless and
authentic, that has a sense of purpose and
permanence, which we want in all of our
The U.S. Courthouse in Alpine, Texas,
this little project in tiny little Alpine, Texas
demonstrates the democratic nature of the
architecture of our government. It responds
specifically to its time and place, sets
beautifully within the landscape, and reflects the
local climate, culture and building technologies.
It is an extraordinary piece of architecture in
this place.
The federal courthouse in Austin,
Texas, we liked it because it seems to be a very
intelligent response to the courthouse as a
building typology, the way the public spaces from
the procession, from the public square into the
entry of the building into public lobbies and on
through the courtroom floors is celebrated as a
procession through the courthouse. The way the
courtrooms and the public spaces are pushed to the
outside envelope of the building, the capitalize
on views and natural lighting was quite admirable.
The building mass as a cube, itÕs not only an
efficient solution to the problem, but also adds
and brings an interpretation of monumentality and
celebration of the courthouse as an important
public building.
The U.S. Post Office and
Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. We felt that not
only is it an important piece of architecture
historically speaking, but it also has been
treated so sensitively and seamlessly with the new
innovations that have been introduced with the new
space thatÕs been created without anyone being
aware of it, that it really has achieved -- it has
actually exceeded what we would want in a public
building of this stature. So the architects have
brought it back to life.
Byron Rogers U.S.
Courthouse in Denver, Colorado. From a
preservation point of view, they were very
sensitive to what the important components and
features are about the building. The architects
did not leave their fingerprints, but they honored
the original architects wishes and considerations
for what the building should be. Besides the
sustainability efforts that were achieved there,
besides the life cycle cost efficiencies that were
improved upon; besides the technical upgrades to
the workspaces, the achievements were done with
such care. Everything that is new works seamlessly
within the old, and I think that could be set as a
model for other buildings of this period.
The San Francisco
Federal Project represents really
significant innovation in many areas. The project
integrates forms, systems, sustainability and art
into a really remarkable composition. The project
takes valuable risks for all of us, to push
forward what we do as architects and designers. I
think everybody should be looking at the project.
It really has innovative contributions for
It was very clear from day one that
sustainability was important to this project. It
was an integral part of the design of the project.
There was two major components that the jury felt
were intriguing. The first was that it was very
clear the building systems, the building
components were very well integrated into the
total architecture. Every component was important.
The second issue was that the amount of research
and study that the design team carried out. Issues
of natural ventilation were well-studied. The
local environment, issues of daylight, and a great
deal of analysis was carried out, to bring the
building to where it was. Many lessons can be
learned from the building.
The Richard Bolling
Federal Building in Kansas City. This building is
one of the large 18-story master works of the
1960Õs, and the Great Society. It needed to be
modernized with all new security systems, thermal
improvements, security and a number of different
way-finding examples, including changing
circulation patterns, so that it was easier for
workers and visitors to find their way around the
building. The addition of a new security pavilion
that was designed sensitively to fit in with the
historic character of the building, and make it
clear that it was a modern addition, but that it
wasnÕt intrusive. It was a very sensitive project
done all the way around.
Looking at the Anthony
Calabrese Federal Plaza a citation award in
landscape architecture. It does an amazing job to
transform an existing urban landscape into a
wonderful new public garden. The project solves
and integrates issues of climate, sustainability,
urban linkages and landscape experience. The
design team has created a really beautiful urban
garden, which would change over the course of the
This is a Land Port of Entry project in
Raymond, Montana, and itÕs a very clean,
straightforward design which was carried out
impeccably well. The remoteness of the site was
brilliantly considered in both the design partee
and in the fabrication and construction process,
which were really one in the same. The insertion
of two cubes, one solid and one transparent, for
the conditioned administrative and support spaces
is extremely clear and crisp as a design idea.
The Land Port of Entry at Donna, Texas. The project
was an incredible integration of both structure,
industrial design, architecture, materiality of
the iconic use of the support system, which are
actually the booth of entry, and the structural
portion of the canopy was compelling to the jury.
The jury was also impressed with the
organizational strategy of this particular
project. The circulation is very clear and
explicit. The application of the separation of the
two directions of traffic were very clearly
The Land Port of Entry in Warroad,
Minnesota. This is a very brutal, beautiful
landscape, that this port of entry project
captures something about in its -- captures
something about this very, very unique site in its
proposal, and itÕs really the unrelenting use of
wood, the long, wood bar, which is the kind of
main idea of the partee, is both a bridge on a
local level, and itÕs a gateway on a larger, rural
site level. ItÕs an elegant design which is
legible on so many scales.
With the Land Port of
Entry at Messina, New York, the jury was really
compelled with the energy and the enthusiasm of
the graphics and coloration and materiality. The
materiality of the project relies on layering of
glass and steel frame. It is a port of entry which
deals with truck traffic. So the appropriateness
of this pallet of materials is extraordinary. One
of the strong models that one takes is the
experience of the integration of both the land
forms, the planting, the landscape and the
building itself.
The art and architecture book, a
crisp, classic design that celebrates the art
works that have been commissioned for the nation
by GSA. The book was a marvel of photography and
text, the text supporting the photographs and the
photographs opening up the voice of the artist and
the sense of place in which each of these objects,
individually commissioned, conceived for a single
building, would occupy now, and for 100 years to