William B. Bryant Annex
William B. Bryant Annex
E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse

William B. Bryant Annex

E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse

Acknowledging Civic Importance

A GSA federal design excellent project, the Annex expands the 1950s Prettyman U.S. Courthouse for the United States Federal District and Appellate Courts, the highest court in the nation besides the Supreme Court.  The site is a narrow lot at the intersection of Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues opposite the East Wing of the National Gallery. When viewed from the Capitol, the length of the Third Street façade is as prominent as the front. We expressed the location of the courtrooms through four barrel-vaulted bays along Third Street and positioned a rotunda to engage the street edge at Pennsylvania Avenue, reinforcing Washington’s historic L’Enfant Plan.

Integrating the Annex with the Original Courthouse

A 24,000-SF full height atrium connects the annex to the existing courthouse. Stairs and bridges align with the existing circulation on all levels, leading to nine new District courtrooms, one of which doubles as a Court of Appeals, and 19 chambersets for the judges. In addition to providing new secure prisoner holding areas, we reworked detention facilities in the existing building to current U.S. Marshals’ standards. The interiors of the courtrooms express the dignity of the Courts while humanizing the environment for the juries, plaintiffs and defendants.

Project Details

Project Market(s):


Project Service(s):


Professional Credits:

Associate Architect and Engineer – SmithGroup


Washington, D.C.


351,000 SF

Completion Date:


Project Lead(s):

Thomas P. Rowe, AIA

As a result of our experience with both courts and accessibility planning, Tom Rowe was asked to join the U.S. Courthouse Access Advisory Committee

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