Text description provided by the architects. Constructed as part of the General Services Administration’s Design Excellence program, Schwartz/Silver’s modernization of the A. H. McCoy Federal Building and new security pavilion has dramatically changed the urban landscape in Jackson, Mississippi. The architects took the opportunity to redefine the relationship between the city and the federal government at this site. The re-envisioned plaza provides a landscaped oasis in the city for the employees and visitors who utilize the building. And by reaching out towards the corner of the site, the invitingly scaled security pavilion creates a welcoming entry point for the building.
The mandate for the renovation of the McCoy Federal Building included improved accessibility, sustainability and space standards; new building systems; and a secure entry for the building’s twenty federal agencies. Inspired by the Mississippi River’s changing meanders, the pavilion’s entry canopies curve out to welcome pedestrians. The ribbon-like façades of the pavilion are clad in white aluminum skin matching the color of the original tower. In front of that metal surface, aluminum ribbons support fritted glass shingles that hover free of the façade. The glass shingles, floating in front of the building skin, are luminous, translucent and ephemeral.
The modernization of the building reimagined the Brutalist-style office building and its surrounding landscape. In addition to accessibility improvements and the complete renovation of building systems, the architect was able to work with the General Services Administration to achieve something more elusive for the building tenants and the City of Jackson. Using approximately 15% of the overall budget, a new security pavilion and site landscaping transformed the building character in a more welcoming, secure and sustainable direction.