Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse, Buffalo, NY
* Winner, 2011 Award for Design and Manufacturing Excellence, Architectural Precast Association.
* Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold rating
The new 10-story Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse in Buffalo, New York, is a striking enhancement to the local skyline, gracing downtown Buffalo with its prominence and unique profile. The design of Buffalo's new federal courthouse expresses the dignity and the transparency of the federal judicial system while accommodating courtroom and office space to meet the needs of the U.S. District Court and court-related agencies in Buffalo.
The Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse is dramatically situated on a 1 3/4 acre site in the northwest corner of Niagara Square in the downtown civic center of the city and helps complete Niagara Square. The curved south wall, oriented towards the Square, encloses the public lobbies while its transparency reveals the activity within. A veil of glass panels suspended in front of the pre-cast skin of the ellipse reinforces the inherent grace of the shape with an expression of lightness, while the 255 foot elevator tower topped with a glowing lantern firmly anchors the structure to the site and marks the urban context at both ground and sky. A glass pavilion creates a courtyard interlocked with the tower form. All 4,536 words of the United States Constitution are etched on the glass facade of the pavilion, casting a silhouette upon all who enter into the building.
The 284,000 gross square foot facility includes five District and four Magistrate courtrooms. There are also ten judges' chambers, a Court of Appeals chamber and a satellite library, along with necessary supporting space for the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Attorney, Probation and Pretrial Services, the Federal Public Defender and the U.S. General Services Administration. The building provides secure indoor parking for 54 vehicles.
The building has received LEED-NC Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. It extensively uses local, recycled materials and low-VOC materials to ensure excellent air quality. The building was designed using iterative energy modeling, and the subsequent installation of energy systems have been independently commissioned to optimize energy use. A high performance building envelope features low "e" glazing to help reduce energy needs. The building is also fitted with occupancy sensor controls and low flow water fixtures.
Under GSA's Art-in-Architecture program, monumental colored glass panels designed by Buffalo-area native Robert Mangold, a major figure in the geometric abstraction movement, are installed in the courthouse pavilion lobby.
The Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse opened in November, 2011.
- Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), New York, NY
- General Contractor: Mascaro Construction Company LLP, Pittsburgh, PA
- Construction Manager Adviser to GSA: Cannon Design, Grand Island, NY
- Consulting Engineers; Structural, Blast and Seismic Engineers: Weidlinger Associates Inc., New York, NY
- Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineers: Arthur Metzler & Associates, New York, NY
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