US Courthouse

U.S. Courthouse in Los Angeles, California 

Photo courtesy of David Lena and GSA

350 W. 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

View map [a nongovernment website]

GSA designed and constructed a sustainable, secure and cost-effective U.S. Courthouse in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, California. The 10-story, 633,000-square-foot facility features 24 courtrooms and 32 judicial chambers and stands out in the downtown skyline with its impressive glass façade. The new courthouse optimizes court operations, addresses previous security concerns, and provides the necessary space for the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and the public it serves.

The construction of this new courthouse is the first major step in GSA’s three-pronged approach to achieving an enhanced and efficient footprint for the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and consolidates many of the functions that were previously divided across multiple buildings.

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Key Tenants

Major tenants are the U.S. District Court serving the Central District of California, U.S. Marshals Service, GSA, Federal Public Defender (trial preparation space), and U.S. Attorneys Office (trial preparation space).

Architecture for Sustainability and Safety

The courthouse was designed to make the best use of its sunny downtown location and maximizes the use of natural daylighting throughout. Each floor is organized around a central space where light floods in through a large skylight overhead. Its serrated façade is designed to achieve a north/south orientation that maximizes daylight harvesting
and views while reducing solar heat gain by 47 percent and reducing glare.

The facility incorporates numerous sustainable features:

  • High-efficiency building systems
  • Water-efficient fixtures
  • Green roofs over the Jury Assembly Room and cafe
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping
  • 100,000-gallon underground rainwater cistern for irrigation
  • 250 kW roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panel array that will produce 525,000 kWh annually

The building is on track to achieve LEED® Platinum certification.

Due to its location, seismic design was a key consideration in the structural engineering of the building. The design incorporates an innovative structural engineering concept that allows the cubic courthouse volume to appear to float over its stone base while being one of the nation’s safest buildings.

NOTE: The video is hosted by a nongovernment website.

Public Art

Yosemite Falls by Catherine OpieThe new U.S. Courthouse will feature Catherine Opie's Yosemite Falls, a series of large-scale photographs beginning on the 10th floor and cascading down to the fifth floor, as well as works by minimalist painter Mary Corse and contemporary mixed media artist Gary Simmons. All three artists live and work in the city of Los Angeles.

Corse’s piece is an expansive 7.75-by-43-foot geometric painting that hangs over the lobby. The contrasting vertical stripes also include glass microspheres that play off the ample light provided by the building’s glass façade.

Simmons’ large six-panel piece will be installed in the lobby of the courthouse. He was inspired by the architecture of the courthouse and wants his art to be accessible to everyone who enters the building.

Last Reviewed 2016-10-19