And here we have the last of the not-gonna-happen designs for the Downtown Federal Courthouse at First and Broadway--this is our third and final chance to contemplate what might have been for the long-awaited, massive project, which we know now will be designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. We've already seen proposed designs from shortlisters Yazdani Studio/Gruen Associates and Brooks + Scarpa/HMC Architects/McCarthy, now here is NBBJ's proposal--it overlaps a series of encasings of varying materials and transparency, most prominently featuring a three-story colonnade, a grand portico and trellis, and a 368-foot tower split between two blocks. Press materials describe the towers as having "glazed facades responsive to climatic orientation that bracket two vertically stacked courtroom blocks." The base of the building would have featured natural white terra cotta, inspired by the buildings that line Broadway a few blocks away. The portico and trellis would have been made of slender steel sections finished in white.
The base of the building was inspired by Los Angeles's particular brand of modernism--the architects' statement included a reference to the Craig Ellwood-designed Hunt House and quotations from Ray Bradbury and Reyner Banham for good measure.
· SOM Will Design the Civic Center's New Federal Courthouse [Curbed LA]
· Here's What the DTLA Federal Courthouse Could've Looked Like [Curbed LA]
· See Another Alternative Vision For DTLA's Federal Courthouse [Curbed LA]