A set of three buildings linked together, this juvenile center combines courts, administrative offices, and detention facilities.
“The design of the 300,000-square-foot complex reflects the progressive ideas of Betty Lou Lamoreaux, the retired juvenile-court judge who not only gave her name to the project but was an important participant in the programming and design process. Along with representatives from the county’s General Services Agency, the juvenile courts staff, the probation department, and the maintenance department, Lamoreaux called for a justice center that would provide a humane environment for young offenders while at the same time impressing them with the gravity of the law.
“The resulting buildings combine light filled interiors with a strong civic presence. Faced with and unexceptional suburban site with an existing six-story government office building and an old juvenile detention facility, the architects used the new building to form a public plaza that helps organize the complex and gives it a sense of place. Anchoring this plaza is the new seven-story courts building whose dome-topped central rotunda announces its function as an important civic facility. Defining an adjacent edge of the plaza is the new two-story administration building which, like the courts building, has a granite-clad base with stucco above. All of the buildings in the justice center are steel-frame structures with a number of energy conservation features-including automatic interior-lighting controls, a computerized energy-management system, and a thermal-energy storage system that makes ice during off-peak hours, stores it in underground vaults, and then recycles it as chilled water during the day.”