Justice Standing

The long-anticipated Nathan Deal Judicial Center (NDJC) building, built on 6 downtown acres at Capitol Avenue and Memorial Drive, is open. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), with local support from Stevens & Wilkinson, the approximately $130 million, six-story building is impressive. While the NDJC doesn’t physically touch the gold-domed Georgia Capitol building, the two are symbolically drawn together. “We saw it as an opportunity to create a visual connection between the two branches of government,” says Grant Marani, the RAMSA partner who led the project. The design is inspired by historic courthouses, with a limestone-hued precast concrete facade, a trio of bronze doors below the colonnade and a 60-foot-tall second-floor elliptical atrium, around which the chambers, courtrooms and administrative spaces are arranged. Eagle-eyed visitors may notice Georgia connections throughout: The water table is made of Elberton granite, both courtrooms are paneled in stained hickory and the Supreme Court Room features a screen of Ionic columns of Georgia marble. Savannah-born Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, on hand for the dedication, called it “a magnificent architectural achievement.” A favorable judgment indeed.