OPN Architects served as Architect-of-Record for the United States Courthouse. The Courthouse opened its doors to the public on November 6, 2012 on-time and on-budget — a rarity for GSA projects of this scale.
Situated on the Cedar River and overlooking Cedar Rapids, Iowa — the design of the building was guided by critical ideas that root the building in its context and develop a strong civic character for the building, both inside and out. Prominent among these ideas are:
- The relationship of the building to downtown Cedar Rapids to the north and 8th Avenue to the south and to the Red Cedar River at the west edge of the site.
- The development of the building and its surrounding landscape as a civic place analogous to other civic areas in Cedar Rapids such as Mays Island and Greene Square Park.
- The creation of a building that expresses the public nature of the judicial process by being both visually and physically inviting as well as clear and easy to understand in its internal organization.
- The creation of a building that expresses the seriousness and importance of the judicial process.
As the Architect of Record, OPN was responsible for managing all aspects of this large, complex, technologically-advanced project, including coordinating a team of 15 consultants from across the country. Approximately 50% of the 287,600 sf building is high-performance multi-tenant office space housing 19 governmental agencies. The building is designed with access floor, high-performance, blast-resistant glazing, solar panels, a rain-water collection system, and a green roof. It achieved LEED Gold Certification.