Friday, October 16, 2009

Architects chosen for new Sacramento courthouse

Friday, October 16, 2009
Published in the Sacramento Business Journal

Nacht & Lewis Architects and HOK have been chosen to design a new courthouse in Sacramento, the Judicial Council of California’s Administrative Office of the Courts announced Friday.

The $500 million project is scheduled to start in 2012, though no location has been set.

The new courthouse would take pressure off the overcrowded Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse on 9th Street in downtown Sacramento. The plans call for building 35 courtrooms in the new facility. Twenty-six of the 44 criminal courtrooms at the existing courthouse would be relocated to the new facility.

The new courthouse will be funded under Senate Bill 1407, which was passed by the Legislature last year and established a lease-revenue bond fund of up to $5 billion to rebuild courthouses in California.

Nacht & Lewis was founded in Sacramento in 1922 by Leonard Starks. The company’s portfolio includes the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Sacramento and the Sacramento County Jail.

HOK is an international design firm founded in 1955 by George Hellmuth, Gyo Obata and George Kassabaum.

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It would appear that we might see a nice looking tower with both N&L and HOK working on this one. Sacramento's Federal Courthouse is a nice addition to our skyline, but I don't understand why they chose to ignore the northern side facing the Railyards but make the southern side stunning with the curved glass and interesting detail near the top of the tower. Sacramento architecture in the last ten years has focused on making the southern facing side of a high-rise striking while forgetting to give the same treatment to the northern side. I was once told “It is a fallacy to assume that good design has to be expensive” and in this case there is no excuse for not making this building impressive.

1 comment:

brian said...

seems they beat out Foster and even Meier. I would much rather have had an iconic public building by one of them. At least HOK has done good work in Sacramento previously.