Six lives were brought to tragic ends during a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8, 2011, which left an additional 13 people wounded, among them U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Although the victims’ lives were cut short, their hopes and dreams live on thanks to the many programs, nonprofit organizations and projects that have since been founded in their names.
Sundt was honored to be the design-builder of one such project: The John M. Roll United States Courthouse in Yuma, Arizona, a landmark building paying tribute to its namesake while reminding us that out of tragedy comes hope and renewal. John M. Roll was a federal judge who was killed in the attack.
The courthouse not only replaced an outdated facility, it was constructed in a prominent location on Yuma’s riverfront to help stimulate economic reinvestment in the area.
The building’s design puts a southwestern twist on the classic American courthouse by using locally sourced sandstone, living walls made of vines planted on steel trellises to shade windows, and fans for maximum ventilation. The project’s centerpiece is a 10,000-square-foot canopy made of photovoltaic panels that provide shade while generating one quarter of the building’s electrical needs.
At the courthouse’s grand opening, Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords made the statement, “I’m still fighting to make the world a better place, and you can, too. Be passionate. Be courageous.”
John M. Roll United States Courthouse
General Services Administration