The Boulder County Courthouse is a deco style sandstone building in the middle of Boulder, Colorado, with a plaza on the south side of the building extending out to the pedestrian Pearl St Mall, local streets on the east and west, and a walkway in between the Courthouse and the East Annex to access the parking lot on the north side of the building. Marshall Design, Inc. provided lighting design services and helped create an effective and attractive environment.
The Boulder County Courthouse Plaza lighting design highlights the building and the existing monuments and provides suitable walkway and area lighting across the plaza. Lighting levels are appropriate for the open area, and do not compete with the surrounding businesses. The building is lighted from the ground by floodlights located on the outside of corners of the structure, accentuating the architecture and illuminating the areas where people used to hide among the plantings. The same floodlights continue along the walkway between the buildings, providing suitable walkway lighting without glare or dark corners.
Throughout the Plaza the light comes from high quality metal halide lamps with a "warm" color temperature, bringing out the desired color in people and the sandstone that covers the Courthouse. The shielding in the pole luminaires and the ground-mounted floodlights reduce glare while maintaining brightness. People's faces and manners and the fountain in the middle of the Plaza are all visible because of the emphasis on vertical illumination. Unfortunately the proposed fountain lighting was never implemented, but the Lions Club which maintains the fountain does provide occasional accent lighting.
This design is a success in both technical and aesthetic terms. The Plaza blends with the Pearl St Mall, while the Courthouse is shown in its best light.
The following links lead to pictures of the Boulder County Courthouse Plaza project - but to really appreciate the Plaza, walk through it yourself.
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