Structural and blast engineering for new federal courthouse with semi-elliptical shape, in Joseph Ellicott Historic District. LEED Gold. 262,000 sf.
Weidlinger Associates provided structural and blast engineering services for the new 10-story, 262,000-square-foot federal courthouse that occupies a one-block site on the northwest corner of historic Niagara Square. The defining features of the structure are an elliptical drum, a curved public galleries, an entry pavilion, and a vertical elevator tower crowned with a glass lantern. The entry pavilion, at the height of the City Hall portico, compensates visually for the 50-foot security setback and separates the public entry from the tower mass for optimal security. A veil of transparent and patterned fritted glass planes is suspended on the precast skin. Although the truncated oval shape reduced exterior wall surface while allowing for the requisite gross area, it complicated analysis of the resistance to progressive collapse of the steel-braced frame structure.
The building will house the US Marshals Service; nine magistrate and district courtrooms will occupy the top five stories. Located in a designated Local Preservation District, facing two art deco buildings, the 1931 City Hall and 1936 Michael J. Dillon US Courthouse, the building will be eligible for the National Register. The design won a GSA award as an unpredictable solution to the seemingly irresolvable, disparate condition of the site's dynamics.
Completion Date: 2010 Location: Buffalo, New York Owner or Client: General Services Administration (GSA) Prime Consultant(s): Kohn Pedersen Fox