Photos: Inside Downtown Austin’s New Federal Courthouse

A new United States Courthouse for the Western District of Texas opened in downtown Austin this week.

The decidedly modern space, designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, is a departure from the stodgy, unimaginative architecture associated with government buildings. The 230,000 square foot building is stark, clean and geometric on the outside. Inside, wood tones warm the courtrooms, natural light works its way into common areas, and a stunning piece of artwork inside the entryway provides more color.

It’s a far cry from what once occupied the space opposite Republic Square Park: KVUE reminds us the courthouse went up on the site of the former “Intel Shell,” an abandoned skeleton of a building for the chip maker which the Austin Chronicle said “came to painfully symbolize all of Austin's broken economic development dreams.” (You can watch the shell come down here.)

Photographer Filipa Rodrigues recently snapped the following pictures of the courthouse.  Take a look the photos in the slideshow below, powered by the KUT Austin Flickr page.