At first view, the design achievement of the Long Beach Courthouse is extraordinary. It transcends form and function with modern versions of worldwide iconic architectural themes that connote stature, the infinite, power, beauty and order. The facade of the building is formed by a series of vertical rectangles of glass framed in aluminum that stand out from the surface, as in relief, creating a three dimensional topography. This topography is made that much more compelling by how portions extend away from the building and others are cavities that draw into the building. The reflections in these cavities, give pause for the beauty of the infinite that they represent layered with the design of the interior. The most dramatic of which is the main entry above. This image expresses the designer’s sensitivity to the beauty of warm and cool colors that are ever-present at dawn and dusk and, to which, we are forever drawn. The pillars are built of cables strung to discs that do not reach the canopy above. Each cable has reflective aluminum rectangles attached to them which reflect the sky light. The classical form of the columns represent tradition and power and the fact that they do not support the canopy, brings a sense of modern magic that elevates that sense of power. The voluminous size of the 5 story lobby expresses stature as well as providing passage for hundreds of people at a time with ease. Law is a complex and intricate practice that threads through all walks of life. The design of this building well reflects the fabric for which it stands.
Here are links with more details on the project: