Bob Schwartz, FAIA, a justice planner and designer with HOK in St. Louis, has been elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2012 Jury of Fellows.
According to the AIA, the Fellowship program “honors architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.” Bob becomes one of only about 3,000 members of the 80,000 AIA members to receive this honor.
Since joining HOK in1979, Bob has dedicated his career to transforming the design of U.S. courthouses, pretrial detention centers, correctional and local law enforcement facilities. His design leadership has helped make these facilities more humane and responsive to our society’s values. Twenty-two of his projects have been featured in the AIA’s annual Justice Facilities Review.
“Bob’s solutions have elevated and set a new standard for the design of justice facilities,” said HOK Justice Director Jeff Goodale. “I believe the impact he has made on our government’s justice system and the way it delivers services to society is unrivaled among architects.”
Bob led the court planning for Denver’s Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse (below), one of the first new courthouses constructed by the GSA after the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. This courthouse has become the GSA’s model for sustainable courthouse design while introducing an open, non-intrusive approach to integrating new federal security standards.
Bob has developed several concepts to elevate the design of urban pretrial detention centers. The St. Louis County Justice Center (below) combines borrowed light, horizontal service chases and direct supervision to break the image of past jails. The innovative design eliminates traditional slotted windows and provides a plan that focuses windows toward the sun and away from adjoining downtown structures. This single idea transformed the design of high-rise justice centers.
For St. Louis’ Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse (below), the largest courthouse in the world, Bob developed a unique staggered floor plan that maximizes efficiency and internal relationships. This concept places the individual courtrooms on the building exterior, differentiating it from other courthouses and increasing natural light.
As a LEED credentialed professional, Bob has helped make sustainability a vital part of justice design. He helped develop the design and planning concepts for the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, Wash., which was the first LEED-NC Gold project of its kind.
In addition to his design leadership, Bob has helped create our modern justice facility standards. He was a major contributor to the National Center for State Courts’ landmark publication, The Courthouse: A Planning and Design Guide for Court Facilities, as well as individual state court standards. His work has been widely published in textbooks on justice design, including Building Type Basics for Justice Facilities and Celebrating the Courthouse.
His committee work includes serving on a Clinton administration panel that established new ways to reduce the cost and improve the quality of federal courthouse construction. Bob was also on an advisory committee for the U.S. Access Board that developed recommendations for accessible courthouse design.
Bob will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the 2012 AIA National Convention on May 17 in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to Bob and all the 2012 new Fellows for setting inspirational examples of the power of architecture to improve our society.