2017 Best of Design Awards for Facade

Pleats and Valleys

2017 Best of Design Awards for Facade

2017 Best of Design Award for Facade United States Courthouse – Los Angeles

Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Location: Los Angeles, California

The new United States Courthouse, a LEED Platinum structure, meets its energy target of 35kBTU/GSF annual consumption through a variety of sustainable design features. The most visible is the facade—a solution that gracefully responds to the solar orientation of the site. A key challenge was to manage intense sun exposure from the east and west while maintaining the building’s alignment with the street grid. The pleated facade design incorporates shaded panels in east- and west-facing pleats to minimize solar thermal gain, and transparent glass panels in north- and south-facing pleats to maximize natural daylight inside the courthouse. This reduces annual solar radiation load and central plant load while lending visual dimension to the facade.

“At a time when much design effort is confined to the envelope, this project stands out for its intelligence in aligning environmental performance with architectural goals across various scales.” —Eric Bunge, principal, nARCHITECTS (juror)

General Services Administration

General Contractor:
Clark Construction Group

Facade Contractor:
Benson Industries

Blast Engineering:
Applied Research Associates Inc.

Mechanical and Electrical Engineering:
Syska Hennessy Group Inc.


Honorable Mention

Project: University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Kate Tiedemann College of Business
Architect: ikon .5 architects, Harvard Jolly Architects
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida

Inspired by the indigenous coral stone of Tampa Bay, the 68,000-square-foot Tiedemann College of Business is conceived as a porous container. The most unique feature of the building is its glass facade: The composition consists of a ceramic fritted first pane that is double-run with two tones of a circular pattern and a mirrored second pane that allows views out while reflecting the first pane’s patterned coating.