Open and Transparent Process
While the addition of a new stair tower in the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse’s light court was driven by functional needs – improving code compliance, vertical circulation, and security for the movement of people and materials – the cost-effective design will provide new and needed amenities to building tenants and users. The extended floorplate and careful reorganization of historic spaces are intended to create impromptu meeting and discussion spaces away from the active courtrooms and judges’ chambers. Expansive glazing will admit daylight and views from the existing light court – a design move that enhances workplace productivity while symbolizing transparency in the judicial process.
To comply with federal regulations that additions be differentiated from but compatible with the historic materials, the new tower will be clad with metal panels in a layout inspired by the rhythm and detailing of the limestone light court walls. The lighter color panels will be sympathetic to the original Indiana limestone, without trying to match it. The charcoal gray panels cladding the service core that links to the historic building will be easily distinguishable from the original material.