Richard E. Arnason Justice Center
This courthouse in the fast-growing East Bay suburb of Pittsburg serves as a gateway to the city’s burgeoning civic center and central business district.
As the pilot project for California’s Trial Court Facilities Standards, the facility incorporates the latest principles of advanced courthouse planning and design. Combining regional materials—such as limestone and redwood veneers from salvaged logs—with crisp, modern architecture, the justice center establishes an open, transparent presence while satisfying the program needs of a highly advanced regional courthouse.
The building’s seven multipurpose courtrooms accommodate traffic, family and criminal matters, including trials, hearings and arraignments. All courtrooms include advanced technology and feature abundant natural light from windows and light monitors. Security and safety protocols include a single point of entry to ensure comprehensive screening and separate circulation ways for public, staff and in-custody defendants. The jury assembly pavilion and the entry lobby are carefully isolated yet can also be used after hours for community meetings.
The courthouse’s outdoor “square” connects the entry with public areas and features drought-resistant plants and trees, decomposed granite, and a gradual incline to the elevated building entry.
Sustainable features include extensive daylighting and a green roof system that helps conserve water and cool the LEED Silver building.