How do you create a large institutional building that connects with the community?
How do you create a large institutional building that connects with the community?

Tulare County (Porterville) Courthouse

Completed in 2013, Forell/Elsesser provided structural engineering services for this new courthouse. The 96,500 s.f. 3-story facility has a partial basement and houses courtrooms, administrative offices, holding cells, sallyport and support areas.

Customized Solution
  • The new building is a 9 courtroom, in-custody-capable courthouse with holding facilities, administrative offices, judicial chambers, waiting areas, public outreach space, and a jury assembly room.
  • Its notable features include a large covered courtyard providing a shaded outdoor gathering area, courtrooms that receive natural light, and a second-floor jury assembly room that looks out over a green roof. Fronting a main thoroughfare, the building engages the city in which it resides. The courtyard creates a ceremonial space and provides an iconic image for the courthouse.
  • Large expanses of glass connect the interior circulation pathways with the courtyard and assist in way finding through the building.
  • The project is LEED Silver certified.
CATEGORIES

Justice/Civic/Governmental


HIGHLIGHTS
  • Architect: CO Architects
  • Owner: Judicial Council of California (JCC)
  • The structure is steel framed with composite floor and moment frames to resist seismic loads