Best Contemporary Architecture

Evo A. DeConcini Federal Courthouse

READERS' PICK: It's taken Tucsonans some time to warm up to this massive courthouse, which opened at a prime downtown corner in spring 2000. Nowadays, though, its innovative glass walkway between two towers has become a bridge over the troubled waters of Tucson's architectural discontent. A recent book called its "use of smaller volumes to break down the huge mass of the building" a "reasonable act." Users of the building, who range from drug-bust suspects to esteemed federal judges, prize the way the summer and winter courtyards open up the interior to light. And though its height blocks off views of the Tucson Mountains to the west, at least the feds thought to bring a bit of desert landscape inside in the form of a fine monumental painting by Tucson's own Jim Waid.
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