I've been trolling through our old projects looking for something to publish that might be interesting. The choice is a courthouse that we designed in the 90s. (Providing the .dwg files aren’t corrupted.)
Courthouses since then have gotten more and more elaborate. I wonder where the money comes from? In this case the budget was hanging over our heads before we drew the first line.
The state agency that manages court facilities had a non-negotiable maximum rent that they would pay. If the actual rent was higher, local government paid the difference. This local government entity was our client. So the first meeting went like this.
CLIENT: "Find out how much rent we will get per square foot; then work backwards from there to make sure that rent payment will retire the bonds we sell to pay for construction, design, and any other soft costs because we can't put a nickel into this project."
ARCHITECT: "Got it."
The project came in about $100,000 less than budgeted...which the judges quickly spent on more wood paneling.
Another quirk of this project was that ’Pammy’ was the judges chief administrator and ran a tight ship. Nobody crossed Pammy. We decided that our main goal, after meeting the budget, was to make sure Pammy was happy. Luckily, we did.
I will probably pull a few details out of the drawings to publish separately. I remember we had a clever system for hanging the panelling, there was a skylight that worked out pretty nicely, there were ’brick beams’ at the entrance, and the judges benches were bullet-proofed with steel plates. Metal detectors were not common yet, so they thought they might need a place to hang out until the shooting was over. (Never needed.)
I’ve got the file folders set up. Next is copying the CAD files into them and start the sanitizing process while keeping an eye out for helpful details I can share. You should see something by Monday or so...
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