June 21, 2010
Slideshow: US Federal Courthouse - by Morphosis - Eugene, Oregon
I was only able to take a few images of the exterior of The US Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon - unfortunately they don't allow photos of the interior. This building, designed by Thom Mayne's firm Morphosis, is a strange design considering the urban context in which it sits. Eugene is a small city that doesn't seem a logical place for flashy architecture featuring flowing titanium curves. Add that to the fact the building sits in a relatively undeveloped area adjacent to the downtown and it doesn't really add much to the urban fabric of the city. It would have been more appropriate to build this in one of the many vacant lots in the downtown core - bringing more people and activity to a city center that could really use a boost. However, this is more a criticism of the urban planning of Eugene than the building itself. As for the design, I can't say I am particularly captivated by the form and haven't been inside to experience the function of the spaces. I have heard that the interior design of the courtrooms is fantastic. The skin material also offers some amazing qualities, particularly at dusk when the colors of the sunset light the building on fire. The semi reflective gray metal also seems to blend in well with the moody blues and grays of the long wet Oregon winters.