Yuma, Arizona is simply one of the most unforgiving cities around and it always has been. Serving as the true “Wild West,” Yuma is famous for its historic prisons, infamous outlaws, and political activists. Yuma also sees more sunshine per year than any other place on the planet, shortening the life expectancy of it’s buildings just by sheer exposure. So, when Ehrlich Architects was commissioned to design a courthouse that could withstand tremendous heat gains, gulf surge floods and a 50 foot blast radius, Steven Ehrlich utilized his experience with desert climates to design a building that would get better with age. Featured in this month’s Architect Magazine, the John M. Roll United States Courthouse is as tough as the local high school mascot, the “Criminal” now shortened to “Crims” for obvious reasons. I spent three days on site with the team from Ehrlich Architects capturing that beautiful warm desert sunlight in the early evening and early morning. I watched it bring out the red tones in the slate and preconditioned steel. The rest of the time we sought shelter from the sun under that large shaded canopy and reapplied sun block every couple hours. Check out the feature gallery of images here.