Iowa Judicial Branch Building

  • Client

    • State of Iowa
  • Project Type

Design Achievement - Located on the southern edge of the State of Iowa capitol complex, this classically derived five-story building provides space for the State of Iowa Judicial Services previously located at five separate sites around Des Moines. DLR Group's design, in association with Kaplan/McLaughlin/Diaz, adds a distinctive yet progressive look to downtown and a complementary addition to campus. The building is arranged on a hierarchical concept in conjunction with the levels of the court system, which reach their pinnacle at the Iowa Supreme Court. The building expresses the design goals to impart visual testimony to the dignity, stability, accessibility and fairness of the State Supreme Court and the judicial system.

Scope Summary - Two main features of the 123,800 SF, five-story Iowa Judicial Branch Building include an interior atrium and a 100-foot tall rotunda, capped by a copper dome wrapped in clerestory windows. The north-facing front is four visible stories of a formal wing. On the west end, the Iowa Supreme Court is located on the top floor, with the Iowa Appellate Court, Judicial Branch Court Information Systems, Clerk of the Court, Screening Attorney's, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and general administration on the floors below. Natural lighting is a key element in the interior workspace, creating an open feeling with well-lit offices and cubicles. The project integrated 14,000 SF of interior marble walls weighing 112 tons, 2,300 tons of exterior limestone, and 1,075 tons of structural steel. DLR Group was the Architect of Record providing architecture and engineering services.

Awards & Recognition

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  • Selection, Retrospective of Courthouse Design

    AIA / National Center for State Courts
  • Citation

    AIA Committee on Architecture for Justice
  • Excellence in Design Award

    AIA Iowa