The Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse was constructed from 1931-1934 and is a contributing building to the Detroit Financial District, a National Register Historic District. The Courthouse is a ten-story building with one basement level below ground. This project is a part of a larger renovation project, the Levin Prospectus project, looking at updating major building systems.
The intent of the project was to consolidate the Probation department from the 9th and 10th floors to a single floor. The consolidation to a single floor meant the elimination of private offices for field officers and all non-management personnel. To accomplish this, Workplace 2020 principles, such as lower cubicle heights and more collaborative spaces, were implemented into the design of the open office areas. Collaborative spaces were integrated as a new concept as many of the officers spent most of their days alone previously. These spaces took many forms – from on-on-one rooms to open office casual seating to conference rooms and break rooms. As a means to facilitate Probation’s desired scope and remain within budget, the use of furniture-supplied glass partitions became a critical component of the design. The renovation also opened the ceilings to the original plaster ceiling height to restore a bit of history as well as introduce more natural daylight, thereby reducing lighting costs. This project was phased as part of the larger Levin Prospectus project, accommodating swing space for tenants while the building remained occupied during construction.