In the face of tragedy rises a celebration of democracy that healed a nation. The Oklahoma City Federal Building is a philosophical and practical response to tragedy, making a statement on the role architecture plays in protecting and inspiring society.
The urban-sensitive design integrates security measures while respecting the city, street, and pedestrian. Far from being an impenetrable fortress, the three-story structure embraces an adjacent tree-lined park spread across a city block. At its heart, a glassy elliptical courtyard curves inward to welcome the public and promote a sense of openness.
The building and site are bisected by a stone wall that transforms from landscape partition to a dramatically textured surface spanning an atrium. Crafted by the design team from regional materials and nick-named Oklahomacrete, the wall becomes a subtle defense in a series of new security guidelines.
This building is about the future, seeking to reunite the federal community and stand as a symbol of freedom.