Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse Annex

A civic complex that completes a four-block Federal precinct while setting a new bar for sustainability in federal buildings.

127,000 SF


Denver, CO

2003 Honor Award, American Institute of Architects, Western Mountain Region

2003 Honor Award, American Institute of Architects, Colorado

2003 Citation Award, American Institute of Architects, Denver Chapter

2003 People’s Choice Award, American Institute of Architects, Denver Chapter

2003 Distinguished Award in Architecture, American Institute of Architects, St. Louis

2000 Renewable Energy in Buildings Award, Colorado Renewable Energy Society

General Services Administration

The Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse Annex completes the four-block Federal Precinct in downtown Denver. Located in the City’s Civic Center, the project is an elegant addition to the city’s fabric while serving as a case study for the General Service Administration’s (GSA) sustainable design standards. The building incorporates ten district courts, four magistrate courts, and one special proceedings courtroom, as well as jury assembly, Clerk of the U.S. District Court, and U.S. Marshals Service Offices and Detention. A below grade connection links the facility to the existing District Courts building and its detention facilities. The design accommodates future expansion of 127,000 GSF. The project was one of the first GSA Design Excellence Program projects.

Located in the center of a precinct of federal buildings; a Beaux Arts courthouse, a historic post office, and a typical 1965-modern office tower, the Arraj Courthouse represents the twenty-first century expansion of the federal district. The design reconciles complex site circulation, solar access, and a welcoming yet secure public experience by breaking down the scale of the building into a public-facing entry pavilion adjacent to a ten-story high-rise. Distinct volumes and materials articulate the various internal functions of the building. The crowning feature of the tower is an array of photovoltaic cells framing Denver’s big sky, emphasizing the building’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.

Designed in association with HOK, one of AMD’s specific roles on the project was to lead a sustainability investigation for the complex that would set a new standard for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship in federal buildings. Targets for the building are exceeded, including design criteria such as reducing electrical demand by 50%, providing daylight to all building occupants, maximizing reusable products, minimizing construction waste, and providing a healthy and productive work environment. The result is a timeless building that serves the community while minimizing the use of its previous environmental resources.

In collaboration with HOK

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