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Kalamazoo’s New Family Courthouse

Gull Road Family Justice Complex
Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

This new building consolidates family court functions for the county and outside agencies into one facility.

The state-of-the-art courthouse unites juvenile functions, domestic relations, probate, prosecuting attorneys, clerks and family support services.

HOK’s design communicates the significance and transparency of the events taking place inside. Located adjacent to the county’s juvenile detention facility, the three-story building improves operational efficiencies and security while being flexible to accommodate the county’s future needs.

Our concept takes advantage of a steep ridge running through the center of the 7.3-acre site, creating two levels of courts facing Gull Road and three levels of offices and support services along the back side of the facility. A two-story, curved blue insulated glass curtain wall that stretches the length of the public corridors accentuates the open feeling. On the south facade, use of bricks with punched openings blends the exterior with a nearby residential community and the adjacent juvenile home.

The predominantly glass facade draws natural light deep into the building, helping to create a comfortable environment for families and staff. All public, staff and judicial circulation areas are lined with windows. Clerestory and interior windows extend daylight into the courtrooms, hearing rooms, offices and conference rooms.

A dramatic two-story building entry, which features an open staircase for vertical circulation, is on the middle level. The entry level contains security screening, all clerk functions and six court hearing rooms. The upper level has four courtrooms, jury deliberation and the prosecuting attorney’s office. The lower level houses family court intake services, a staff entry and break room, and a secure connection to the juvenile facility. Separate holding areas serve juvenile and adult offenders. The public, judges and staff, and in-custody offenders use separate circulation systems.

Designed by HOK and local associate TowerPinkster, the team completed the project on time and under budget using the Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) delivery method.


81,200 sq. ft. / 7,545 sq. m.


Court Planning
Facility Programming


11 August 2016
“Kalamazoo Completes New Courthouse”
The Architect’s Newspaper

August 2016
“HOK Designs New Gull Road Family Justice Complex in Kalamazoo”
HOK News