Andrew Pielage's Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Artist: Andrew Pielage
Medium: Digital Print

We all know that downtown Phoenix is seriously lacking in the cool modern architecture department but after walking into the Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse you might just forget about all that. The  courthouse has a dramatic six story glass curtain-wall on the north face, and contains a drum-shaped special proceedings courtroom with a glass-lens ceiling. But that's not even the "coolest" part ...

Inspired by the misting cooling systems that bring down the temperature of outdoor cafes in warmer climates, Richard Meier brought in the firm Ove Arup to design a similar system for the Phoenix courthouse. Ove Arup's evaporative cooling system brings outside air into the atrium just under the roof of the courthouse, where it moves across the space to the courthouse block.

Here, air is sprayed with water from nozzles located along the sixth floor south corridor. As it absorbs the moisture, the air cools down and drops to the atrium floor, where it joins overflow air from the air-conditioned balconies and exhaust air from the enclosed portions of the building . The air then returns to the outside through slots about ten feet above the atrium floor on the east facade. By using this method, Ove Arup contends the temperature will drop at least 20 degrees on hot summer days.

The countdown to 

Best of Phoenix 


Last year, we profiled 100 Creatives who made a mark on the local arts scene. This year, we'll have 100 creative representations of Phoenix.  No scope or requirement on medium or size -- we'll include photography, painting, sculpture, video, installation, literary, and more. What do you see when you Imagine PHX?

Imagine PHX, so far: 


Steven Revering's Westward Ho


Jon Ashcroft's Suspended in Geography


William LeGoullon's Table


Jason Hill's Phoenix Financial Center


Arnold Guerrero's Camelback Mountain


Sean Deckert's Ginae vs. the 12th Street Gang


Pete Petrisko's Admiral of Phoenix


Quincy Ross' Lone Skyscraper


Andrew Armstrong's Illustrated Cityscape


Thomas Schultz's Phoenix Artifact


Adrian Lesoing's N. Evergreen


Suzanne Falk's Kon Tiki Hotel


Lindz Lew's Bon Voyeur


Kevin Patterson's Phoenix Swamp Beast


Ramy Sidarous' Three Windows


Will Mejia's Orpheum Theatre


Steve Weiss' Portrait of Louis Lee


Larry Willis' Apparition on East McDowell


Claire Warden's Untitled No. 3


Randy Zucker's Dancing Saguaro


Robert Brandan Martinez's Medical Cannabis Tax Stamp


Edward Jensen's Phoenix Financial Center


Mark Dudlik's Phoenix Rebound


Eric Iwersen's The Saguaros Have Been Here the Longest

And, hey! It's lunch time. Check out Chow Bella's 100 Favorite Dishes for some foodie inspiration. 

Have a suggestion for a Phoenix icon by a local creative? Leave it in the comments section or email Claire.Lawton@newtimes.com

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.