U.S. District Courthouse – Plano
This federal courthouse accommodates five separate government tenants. The primary spaces include two new courtrooms, a grand jury hearing room, a secure detention holding cell area, and an office suite for the United States Marshal Service. Planning was complicated by strict security guidelines, including the requirement that the paths of circulation for the public, the prisoners and the judges must be completely separate, meeting only inside the two courtrooms. The building exterior was designed to be resistant to terrorist blast attacks. Security features include vehicle ram walls, laminated glass and a reinforced building envelope.
Daylight harvesting was an important goal throughout the design process. Clerestory windows in the two courtrooms provide natural light to the occupants, and long expanses of interior glazing bring light into the tenant suites from the outside. The predominant finishes throughout are stone and wood, lending an appropriate dignity to such an important federal building. Situated in the rapidly growing area of suburban north Dallas, the new courthouse is a civic beacon in the expanding community.