San Diego Central Courthouse

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Project Description

Light illuminates a vertical masterpiece -- distinct, modern design from every perspective.

The 48-foot daylit atrium is the heart of the building, which welcomes guests and contains a security screening check-point. Electric lighting provides functional illumination for the check-point, accents architectural details, and emphasizes the concept of connectivity with the downtown district. Public corridors adjacent to the atrium and curtain wall façade were designed with the exterior appearance in mind; functional lighting softly washes the walls and provides an aesthetically appealing glowing lantern appearance at night. Electric lighting seamlessly responds to daylight availability via a daylight dimming control system. In the jury and courtrooms, recessed downlighting, perimeter linear wallwashers, and indirect cove lighting provides a uniform sense of brightness on the ceilings and walls, avoiding a cavernous appearance. Preset dimming controls were used to allow the lighting to be adjusted for various court functions.

The exterior is crowned with a cantilevered sun-shade composed of folded panels. During the day, sunlight filters through the panels and glistens off the glass, altering the building’s appearance with the changing sun. LED “light pipes” concealed behind the panels create a luminous design feature at night, adding to the city’s skyline.

Project Highlights

• Concealed 24-foot LED light pipe illuminates the cantilevered sun-shade canopy
• LEED Silver anticipated
• 15% Below Title 24




Project Background

• 704,000 square feet
• $555 million

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