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Andrew Pielage's Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse

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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 Center

89.

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 Center

70.

Mark Dudlik's Phoenix Rebound

66.

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



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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.

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