The Oklahoma City Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Steve Hall - Hedrich Blessing Photography.

Oklahoma City Federal Building



Protective Design, which became a Thornton Tomasetti practice in September 2015, performed a vulnerability assessment addressing hazardous conditions, and proposed cost-effective measures to bring the design of the Oklahoma City Federal Building into compliance with GSA Security Criteria. Our objective was a balanced solution to the full range of potential threats, including airborne glass shards, failure of the exterior envelope, and failure of floor slabs due to upward blast pressures. Design modifications were focused on mitigation of progressive collapse.

Designed with Protection in Mind
The building was designed to be welcoming despite stringent security precautions. A dramatic curved shatterproof glass wall faces a protected elliptical courtyard. In addition to a 50-foot setback, blast-resistant concrete walls protect those portions of the building that face the street. With only two entrances, visitors are funneled to the single lobby for enhanced security. Soaring walls on either side of the lobby shield people in the adjoining office wings from the effects of a lobby explosion. Located on a two-city-block site which rises ten feet north to south, the building nestles into the slope, forming a natural berm.

Safe and Sustainable
Sustainable design initiatives include extensive daylighting. Expanses of curtain wall are oriented to take advantage of sunlight while shading elements and a deep roof overhang limit the sun’s effects in summer.

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