Federal Metropolitan Center

Federal Metropolitan Detention Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Architect: Ewing Cole Cherry Brott, Inc.
Precast Concrete Manufacturer: High Concrete Structures, Inc.
Awards: 2000 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Design Award for outstanding design in Specialized Structures “Best High Rise Justice Facility”
Photographer: Jeffrey Totaro
  

The designers’ objective was to create sufficient visual interest so that the purpose of the building, a holding facility for those awaiting trial at the federal courthouse located across the street, would not be apparent. The eleven-story building has 320,000 square feet of concrete at a cost of $68.3 million. High Concrete Structures of Denver, PA supplied the 800 architectural precast panel walls made with Lehigh white cement. 

At the base is a 3-foot band of concrete panels resembling terrazzo. Panels above the base have a texture imitating natural stone. Upper panels are scored and sandblasted to create texture and contrast. These panels include a 5″ wide beveled slit for windows to make them appear larger.

Each of the 628 housing cells are 80 sq. ft. and include a slit window. The embedded steel-reinforced exterior walls provide the ultimate security.