Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse

GSA Design Award: Architecture Award – Lloyd D. George Courthouse

Lloyd D. George Courthouse, Las Vegas
Lloyd D. George Courthouse, Las Vegas

Mehrdad Yazdani, CannonDworsky and Clark Pacific win a 2001 GSA Design Award for Architecture for the Lloyd D. George Courthouse, Las Vegas. Judges for the award commended the buildings “urbanity and such elegant restraint in Las Vegas,” and commented that the giant column is “a powerful totem that will no doubt become the courthouse’s signature in a city of signs and symbols.”

The Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse is home to the district court of Las Vegas, and was the first federal building built to comply with post-Oklahoma City blast-resistance requirements. Following the events of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 and the attacks upon the World Trade Center in 2001, the federal government mandated an increase in building structure security measures that have since become industry standards.

The 450,000 square foot L-shaped facility incorporates a complex facade program. Ceiling heights of 22 feet required long-spanning cladding materials. Precast wall panels measuring 22 feet by 10 feet clad much of the exterior. A dramatic steel and aluminum canopy projecting from the top of the building shadows the plaza, where a 3-story rotunda serves as the public lobby. A 60 foot diameter cable truss supported glass dome caps the rotunda is in compliance with challenging bomb-blast requirements. The walls facing the plaza are glass curtainwall set into precast frames with an integrated louvered sunscreen.

Advanced structural silicone and laminated glass were combined in inventive ways to meet the blast requirements. Testing took place at the Department of Defense’s Large Blast Thermal Simulator in White Sands, New Mexico. Results showed that in the event of an explosion the curtainwall panels would maintain fundamental integrity and act to mitigate the risk of injury in the event of an attack. Hinman Consulting Engineers and Weidlinger Associates acted as blast consultants.

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