Oklahoma City Federal Building
Oklahoma City, OK
- Ross Barney Architects
- Oklahoma City, OK
- 1M - 100M
- 1-5 Stories Client
General Services Administration
185,000 square feet Federal Office Building
Associate Architect and Engineer
Atkins Benham Inc.
Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing
The devastation that was witnessed on April 19, 1995 will never leave the minds of Americans. One hundred and sixty eight people perished in the aftermath of the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The General Services Administration immediately sought to replace the facility. The building site is a transition zone between the Central Business District and the North Downtown neighborhood.
When I was selected as the Lead Designer, we faced similar challenges to an Embassy compound built by the Department of State overseas. It was imperative that the new building be able to withstand the type of terrorist attack that destroyed the Murrah Federal Building. But even more importantly, the new building needed to convey to the world that we indeed intended to go on. The design had to represent our values for our community with safe friendly welcoming public space.
The 185,000 square foot building is constructed on a 2 city block site, one block north and west of the former Murrah Federal Building. This long neglected part of the city is plagued by surface parking lots and rare green space. To help the economic revitalization of the neighborhood, the historic city grid is maintained to encourage pedestrian and vehicular traffic creating active street life and a sense of community. This new facility is about the future, seeking to reunite the federal community and stand as a symbol of freedom.
The design of the new Federal Building in Oklahoma City maximized sustainable design and workplace productivity initiatives. Most expanses of curtainwall in the building are oriented to the north, northeast, or northwest and have horizontal shading elements to limit the impact of western summer sun and redirect daylight onto interior ceiling surfaces. The southeast facing curtainwall is protected with a combination of shading elements and a deep roof overhang. The building was designed to receive a LEED Silver rating.
Security design was paramount to the Federal employees and its neighbors. Security was achieved based on the GSA’s current Standards for secure facilities including blast resistant glazing. Structural design resists progressive collapse.
Building mass, glazing inside the courtyard, and bollards help to maintain a sense of openness and security.
ART IN ARCHITECTURE
The Art in Architecture component of the building incorporates a water feature that acts as an additional security barrier. The boulders for this Brad Goldberg designed fountain were farmed from an Oklahoma Buffalo ranch. Artist Doug Hollis installed 46 star sculptures around the building, commemorating Oklahoma as the 46th of the United States of America.