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A Sustainable, Child-Focused Courthouse

Judge Seymour Gelber and Judge William E. Gladstone Miami-Dade Children’s Courthouse
Miami, Florida, USA

This signature building in downtown Miami combines juvenile and family courts in a non-traditional, welcoming courthouse environment.

Designed to minimize stress for children and families, the 14-story building houses 18 courtrooms and many of the agencies involved with juvenile justice, making it easy for families to access all of the services they need.

Miami-Dade County wanted to create a healthy environment for children and achieve goals for environmental responsibility. The building’s east-west orientation minimizes solar heat gain while offering spectacular views to Biscayne Bay and the surrounding city.

A perforated, tilted pre-cast concrete screen wall to the south provides shading for the building. The variation of multi-colored windows produces an ever-changing daylight experience in the public waiting areas of each floor. At night, light from the interior creates a random pattern of primary colors across this south-facing “confetti wall.”

The bright, spacious interior space embodies the values of the county justice system, communicating that the city values its children and families. Naturally lit corridors and public areas feature public art, including bronze sculptures of Florida bears in the lobby and four large-scale murals and tile installations featuring portraits created by public school students. 

Designed for LEED Silver certification, sustainable features include a green roof at level four, permeable paving, low-flow plumbing fixtures, drip irrigation and native plants. 


LEED Silver anticipated


378,000 sq. ft. / 35,100 sq. m.
18 courtrooms


Landscape Architecture
Master Planning
On-Site Construction Services
Program Verification
Sustainable Consulting


American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Justice Justice Facilities Review – Citation

National Center for State Courts – Retrospective of Courthouse Design, 2001-2010


21 February 2017
“ULX: 10 Government Buildings”
Urban Land

29 August 2016
“Miami Dade Children’s Courthouse Honored in AIA’s Justice Facilities Review”
HOK News

11 May 2015
“Miami Dade Opens Gleaming New Juvenile Courthouse”
CBS Miami 

24 April 2015
Miami Dade’s New Children’s Courthouse Called ‘Place of Hope’”
Miami Herald