Margaret Chase Smith U.S. Courthouse + Federal Building Modernization

Bangor , Maine / United States of America

The Courthouse includes 188,000 s.f. of Court/Office functions, and is considered an important example of regional mid-century architecture.  The design is complimentary to existing  with a simple palette that focuses on key elements, and  optimizes re-use of existing while integrating new elements.

Restore “distinguishing architectural features” (canopies, façade);

  • Create first impression by adding an entry pavilion to consolidate formerly separate Court and Post Office entries, and incorporate new security; 
  • Renovate circulation and offices throughout;
  • Add new District/Magistrate Courtrooms;
  • Achieve LEED Platinum.

The new Pavilion is a transparent jewel, simply and delicately detailed, in contrast to the opaque existing building.  It slips behind existing canopies and is flanked by intimate gardens - as a threshold/bridge marking entry into a sacred domain (Courthouse). 

The original Court/Office Entry was small and cluttered with signage and security equipment, and did not provide an entrance fitting a Courthouse.  However, the former Postal Lobby was one of the building’s significant spaces.  Since Postal was moving out, we re-purposed the space, creating a new post-security Arrival Hall that links the transformed Court/Office Lobby and new Social Security Lobby.  The Hall features recognition of Margaret Chase Smith’s achievements, and original and new murals terminate views at each end.  

Architect of Record

exp US Services


U.S. General Services Administration, Region 1

General Contractor

Consigli Construction


  • AMEC Foster Wheeler