E.M. Dirksen Federal Building, Courtroom Renovations

Chicago, Illinois
Nevin Hedlund was the designer and project manger for the $25 million renovation project for the U.S. District Court, which provided new District Courtrooms in the existing E.M. Dirksen Federal Building.

The main renovation challenge was to unobtrusively create space in the middle of the 30-story building with 12-foot ceilings for eight new courtrooms requiring large expanses of uninterrupted space and 18-foot ceilings. The solution was to insert 56-foot by 13-foot trusses on the 16th floor and remove parts of the interior columns on the 15th floor to open up the needed space.

Traditional materials in the Mies style are integrated with state-of-the-art systems. New lighting focuses on the central work zone. A three-part wood wall-panel system incorporates vertical glass louvers that conceal a return air system. Floating fabric panels hide linear diffusers.