The freehand sketches, diagrams and 75% C.D. drawings are samples taken from the Common Pleas Court Project for Warren County, OH. On this project I served as a ‘hands on the documents’ project architect, design architect, job captain and project manager under the executive level supervision of the president of Architects Associated. The project adds a new 138,000sqft three story addition with basement and 26,000sqft front entry with basement to the existing 81,500sqft complex. The existing complex consists of two single story buildings with basement: the original building (48,500sqft) built in 1978 and the existing addition (33,000sqft) built in 1990. A substantial renovation of both buildings was done in 2000 by the architect of the original building. The existing addition adopted the style and much of the detailing of the original building. Neither the style nor the detailing of the existing buildings has withstood the test of time particularly well. Although the primary function of the facility has always been judicial, the existing designs do not convey an image supportive of this function. The original building has basement below thirty six percent of its footprint, with the remainder of the plan being slab on grade. The basements of the two existing buildings are not adjacent to one another, cannot (cost effectively) be directly connected and have different finish floor elevations. The client and its constituency have a strong equestrian rural heritage and tend to be stylistically traditional & conservative in nature. The design strategy seeks to convey an impression of judicial dignity to the primary facades of the complex. It mitigates the appearance of the original designs by effectively enclosing &/or screening the existing primary facades. The project uses a language of forms and materials compatible with other buildings on the campus, and the culture of the County. Within this idiom, the new front entry offers a fresh experience of light, volume and planes. The basement portion of the front entry connects basements of the new addition and the existing addition. A 2,300sqft tunnel on the private side the original building connects the basements of the original building and the new addition.
Location: Lebanon, OH, US