Andrew Pielage's Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse

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 continues! 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: 
100: Steven Revering's Westward Ho
99: Jon Ashcroft's Suspended in Geography
98: William LeGoullon's Table
97. Jason Hill's Phoenix Financial Center89. Arnold Guerrero's Camelback Mountain
88. Sean Deckert's Ginae vs. the 12th Street Gang
87. Pete Petrisko's Admiral of Phoenix
86. Quincy Ross' Lone Skyscraper
85. Andrew Armstrong's Illustrated Cityscape
84. Thomas Schultz's Phoenix Artifact
83. Adrian Lesoing's N. Evergreen
82. Suzanne Falk's Kon Tiki Hotel
81. Lindz Lew's Bon Voyeur
80. Kevin Patterson's Phoenix Swamp Beast
79. Ramy Sidarous' Three Windows
78. Will Mejia's Orpheum Theatre
77. Steve Weiss' Portrait of Louis Lee
76. Larry Willis' Apparition on East McDowell
75. Claire Warden's Untitled No. 3
74. Randy Zucker's Dancing Saguaro
73. Robert Brandan Martinez's Medical Cannabis Tax Stamp
72. Edward Jensen's Phoenix Financial Center70. Mark Dudlik's Phoenix Rebound66. 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 [email protected]

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton

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