Title: SOM wraps Downtown LA courthouse in pleats of glass
Originally published on www.dezeen.com
Envisioned as a floating cube, the glazed building cantilevers over a recessed stone podium. At ground level, the courthouse is fronted by a wide flight of stairs and a pathway that switchbacks across a garden.
The architects faced a number of challenges during the project. For one, they wanted to use glass for the exterior, but had to figure out how to manage intense sun exposure. The team also wanted to align the building with the urban grid, which is slightly off-kilter in this part of the city — about 38 degrees off the north-south axis – making the control of heat gain extra difficult.
To address these challenges, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed a glazed curtain wall with vertical pleats. The folds help reduce the amount of surface area that is exposed to the strongest and most direct sun rays.
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