San Diego, CA | 17 stories| 487,421 sq ft

The United States Courthouse in San Diego is a 487,421-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that includes a 17-story EBF (Eccentric Braced Frame) steel tower over 2 levels of below grade concrete slabs, beams, and walls. The structure at 320 feet exceeded the building code height limit for EBF lateral system. Alternative non-linear design procedures were required to confirm building code compliance and to verify adequate structural performance. There were several other challenging structural issues for this project. The floor heights were set very tall at up to 25 feet. The lobby area has a ceiling height of 50 feet and has exterior glass and an architecturally exposed steel curtain wall system that is supported from the structure. Blast and progressive collapse security requirements are incorporated into the structural design. For the precast and metal panel exterior wall system, extensive steel support framing was implemented.

Specifically it is comprised of an Entry Lobby, Jury Assembly room, 13 US District Courtrooms and Chambers, 1 US District Special Proceeding Courtroom and Chamber, Court Chambers floor, US Clerk of Court offices, US Pretrial Services offices, Subterranean parking, USMS sally port/holding cells, USMS holding cells and offices, Conference and Training rooms and Dining.

This Courthouse has been designed around a complicated sloping Plaza level with a large integrated art and landscape walkway feature, 6-foot deep large planter areas and an extensive metal panel and precast architectural elements. The public plaza at  the center of the complex is a new civic plaza for the city.


Richard Meier & Partners


Hensel Phelps