Academy of Architecture for Justice Showcases 2006-07 Awards

NEW ORLEANS — The Academy of Architecture for Justice, a branch of the American Institute of Architects, showcased the 2006-2007 awards winners for the Justice Facilities Review in October at the academy’s annual conference.

A jury that consisted of architects and administrators that have experience with justice facilities selected this year’s citation winners. The facilities were judged on several components, including integration of justice standards and best practices, safety and security, and functional relationships and circulation.

Architects registered with AIA AAJ were invited to submit correctional, court, detention, juvenile, law enforcement and multiple-use facility projects.

U.S. Courthouse, Fresno, Calif.
Owner: U.S. General Services Administration and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California San Francisco

Site area: 3.9 acres

Area of building: 475,034 GSF

Capacity: 14 courts

Architect: Gruen Associates Los Angeles

Associate Architect: Moore Ruble Yudell, Santa Monica, Calif.

U.S. Courthouse, Fresno, Calif.

Jury Statement

The jury was impressed with the skillful use and juxtaposition of materials, form and fenestration, which produce a composition that fits naturally into the context. The window detailing, sun screens and the precast concrete’s form and texture create a range of scale that reaches from the overall massing down to the hands-on.

The Mondrian-like surface texture of the precast concrete wonderfully expresses the quality of light in Fresno. The interior spaces are elegantly designed and possess a continuity that runs seamlessly from the entrance lobby to the courtrooms. Public waiting spaces are accommodating and humane, taking advantage of natural light and views of exterior public gardens and public art that are integral to the project.

The landscape development for the building created its own context that, together with the building, establishes a civic presence without being overbearing — so appropriate to a U.S. courthouse.

Architect Statement

The new U.S. Courthouse provides a major public garden, large multiple-use lobby, and other spaces that make the courthouse an integral part of the civic and community life of the region. The context of the great Central Valley and the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains are reflected in the bold sculpting of the mass of the building and in the use of a unique system of textured precast concrete panels that gives the large exterior walls a warm rustic quality. Large, gently bowed glass bays make visible the public lobby and galleries that overlook the garden. Another unusual feature is the glassy lobby itself, which is linked to the outside landscape by the public art installation’s fountain, granite boulders, and an interior sonic well. Jerusalem stone, Douglas fir, colored plaster and bronze create a hospitable regional character for public spaces and courtrooms.

Maricopa County Juvenile Residental Treatment Center, Phoenix
Owner: Maricopa County, Ariz.

Type of facility: Juvenile

Area of building: 32,400 GSF

Capacity: 48 beds

Status of project: Completed 2003

Architect: Cannon Design, Los Angeles

Maricopa County Juvenile Residental Treatment Center Phoenix

Jury Statement

This modest project for juvenile drug treatment uses strong indoor/outdoor connections and simple articulation of form to achieve a comforting and cohesive residential rehabilitation environment. Organized around a landscaped courtyard, the three simple single-story elements are punctuated by roof monitors and folded plate canopies, generating a rich human scale.

The visitation porch is anchored and provides focus to the courtyard. Natural light is introduced to the interior at every opportunity, and a visual connection to the outdoors anchors the project to its landscape. Simple details, such as the rerouted metal sun screens at bedroom windows, offer another layer of simple articulation.

Architect Statement

This residential treatment center represents an emerging concept in expanding alternatives and promoting public safety in the least restrictive facility possible as an alternative to detention. Juveniles who have severe drug dependency problems reside in the center for up to four months, before transitioning to after care.

The goal was to make the facility conducive to treatment and a “transportive” refuge for displaced youth. The campus is constructed of wood framing and has a residential scale. It is divided into three separate structures composed around a landscaped courtyard. The two residential buildings each contain three modules of eight sleeping rooms. Common rooms in each building resemble large, comfortable living rooms. They each have an outdoor recreation area and a front porch for parental visits. The third building contains classrooms, administrative areas, and a courtyard for events. Security at the center is provided through direct supervision, low staff-to-juvenile ratios, and an alarm mechanism that transmits to staff pagers.

Harbor Police Station, San Pedro, Calif.
Owner: City of Los Angeles Bureau of
Engineering, Los Angeles

Type of facility: Law enforcement, detention and multiple use

Site Area: 199,365 SF

Area of building: 178,065 GSF

Capacity: 300 staff (62 sworn, 184 nonsworn)

Architect: Perkins+Will, Los Angeles

Associate Architect: Roth + Sheppard Architects, Denver

Harbor Police Station, San Pedro, Calif.

Jury Statement

The project is on a challenging narrow site located between a freeway and a “sea of cranes and shipping containers.” The clearly articulated architectural idea of this public safety facility, which includes a police station, jail, maintenance building and parking structure, responds very successfully to its industrial context and works both at the freeway and human scales.

The massing and location of the different program spaces on the site provides internal security and a buffer for the police station component from freeway noise. It is one of the first of the new stations for the Los Angeles Police Department that have been programmed and designed in response to a community policing philosophy. The facility’s strong, welcoming and cheerfully animated public presence embraces this philosophy and is reinforced by public art, a community garden, a public plaza and a community room.

Architect Statement

The new replacement station and jail project rests on a narrow finger of land adjacent to a busy freeway and across the street from a sea of cranes and shipping containers. The program includes a state-of-the-art police station; a 60-bed short-term men’s and women’s jail; a 283-vehicle parking structure with a rooftop helistop; a vehicle maintenance, fueling, and washing facility; visitor parking; and outdoor garden plazas for public and secure use.

The linear nature of the site leads to a series of three bar-shaped buildings paralleling the freeway, offering strong directionality reinforced by walkway and landscape elements leading to public and secure entries. The exception is the jail, hidden on the backside of the complex and used as a buffer space sheltering the station from the noise and security concerns associated with the freeway. Of paramount concern was balancing a welcoming, community-friendly image unique to the harbor locale with critical security concerns.

Napa County Juvenile Justice Center, Napa, Calif.
Owner: Napa County Public Works, Napa, Calif.

Type of facility: Juvenile and detention

Type of construction: New and renovation

Area of building: 47,830 GSF

Capacity: 40 cells, 60 beds, 1 court

Architect: RossDrulisCusenbery Architecture Inc., Sonoma, Calif.

Napa County Juvenile Justice Center, Napa, Calif.

Jury Statement

The Napa County Juvenile Justice Center’s design successfully represents a change of philosophy by providing a facility for the care, treatment and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. The design emphasizes education, recreation and social services for the individual juvenile.

Juveniles can view the surrounding community through large windows in their housing area, removing the feeling of being locked away and forgotten. The design continues the feeling of transparency through the use of natural light and open space. A normative environment is achieved with many opportunities for social interactions with peers and staff. The sense of community helps build trust to promote personal growth in the youth living in this facility.

Color and texture provide an appropriate environment for juvenile rehabilitative programs. The design accomplishes the security needs of a juvenile facility without being overwhelming. The feeling of a safe, caring community is present.

Architect Statement

The Napa County Juvenile Justice Center is a community-based treatment facility that reflects a philosophical shift within the corrections community. The center has been designed to intake, house and treat juvenile offenders without sending them to facilities in neighboring counties. The center was also designed to support visits from the juveniles’ families and to facilitate and support the juveniles’ rehabilitative and educational programs.

The design uses a collective approach, one that transcends the common division between the community that houses the facility and the community within the facility. The design strategy is a composition of overlapping volumes, nested spaces that symbolically embody the mission of interconnection and access. These overlapping zones form layers of transparency, daylight and openness that correspond with the security and programmatic zones of the facility. Each zone is provided with natural light and, where possible, shares natural light with other adjacent functional areas. The east wall of the housing pods includes large windows that offer views to the juveniles housed there — views of their community and a brighter future.

San Jose Police Department Substation, San Jose, Calif.
Owner: City of San Jose, Department of Public Works, San Jose, Calif.

Site area: 12 acres

Area of building: 104,000 GSF

Capacity: 580 staff (520 sworn, 60 nonsworn)

Status of project: Under construction

Architect: RossDrulisCusenbery Architecture Inc., Sonoma, Calif.

San Jose Police Department Substation, San Jose, Calif.

Jury Statement

This boldly conceived project poses the critical question, “What is the appropriate contemporary voice for the architecture for public safety?” The answer reasserts the public in public safety and is presented as a series of relationships — staff to staff, police to community, building to context, materials to experience, and process to innovation. What links these themes is the metaphor of a ribbon, a simple, free-flowing gesture that brings together these complex layers of investigation with dramatic and surprising results.

The painterly and humanistic qualities of the architectural expression provide a rich and nuanced foil for the abstraction of its form. The landscape and geological references of the building walls help to root the building in the deep history of the place, in a form that is fresh and welcoming to visitors. The reading of the building at various scales — from the highway, from the immediate context, and as a sequence of spaces — responds to these different levels of perception with appropriate gestures that are remarkably successful for the invention and care in detailing.

The vision of the client, matched with the accomplishment of the designer in creating this extraordinary design, represents a rare example of a public project that transcends the constraints of site, program and budget to create a building that reflects a new sense of mission for a public agency.

Architect Statement

This project provides a new substation on a 12-acre site. Within the sweep of a simple gesture, the design expands spatially and conceptually to produce an environment that is rich, layered, permeable and inclusive.

The project is a fully-functional police station, combining operations, administration, investigations, and preprocessing functions within a multiple-story building. The site is adjacent to diverse suburban contextual conditions, including light industrial sites, a residential neighborhood and a railroad.

The site is near the confluence of two regional highways and a rapidly developing mixed-use neighborhood. This is a landmark project marking a major work of civic architecture. The city’s police department is actively refining its operational image, fostering an innovative sense of openness toward the public and commitment to a rich working environment for its staff, and this facility is intended to embody this mission.

Edina City Hall and Police Facility, Edina, Minn.
Owner: Edina, Minn.

Site area: 3.93 acres

Area of building: 82,470 GSF

Capacity: 73 staff (50 sworn, 15 nonsworn)

Architect: BKV Group, Minneapolis

Edina City Hall and Police Facility, Edina, Minn.

Jury Statement

The jury admired this mixed-use city hall and police facility for its response to its site and region, as well as the building’s easy public accessibility. The architects have created a poetic disposition of program elements on a triangular site surrounded by roads, allowing the complex to not only be seen and easily accessed in the round but to enhance the facility’s important civic role. Its response is further established in the careful election and detailing of local and natural materials and the manner in which they are woven together among the architectural forms. The completed project conveys a sense of pride, permanence and appropriateness to the legacy of the region.

Architect Statement

After seven years of planning, the client moved from its unquestionably past-its-prime 27,000-square-foot facility that the Coen brothers featured as the dingy police department in the 1996 film Fargo (the Brainerd Police Department facility was too modern) to its new 57,000-square-foot city hall and police facility.

Located on a highly visible site, the two-story building is surrounded by a mature and defined landscape in the heart of an established upscale city. Three main roads define the high-profile triangular site and dictate the parameters of the building. The severe site restriction created an opportunity to design a visually open and accessible building, without a traditional front and back, that features a modern and secure police department, welcoming open council chambers, main circulation corridors with views across the site, and city office suites designed as storefronts where each department has a waiting area for visitors and work spaces for employees.

Fire Station 10, Seattle
Owner: City of Seattle, Fleets and Facilities Department

Area of building: 60,000 GSF

Status of project: Under construction

Architect: Weinstein A/U Architects + Urban Designers

Associate Architect: RossDrulisCusenbery Architecture Inc., Sacramento, Calif.

Fire Station 10, Seattle

Jury Statement

The jury was impressed with the graphic presentation of the submission. It was clear and concise. It was noted that Seattle requires sustainable design on all of its projects and this project is undertaking that challenge with a goal of a silver LEED-equivalent design, taking into account green roofs, sun screens, and plan orientation. Also incorporated into the design are the principles of universal design. Last, the jury appreciated the ability of the design to provide a high level of security while retaining an image of openness.

Architect Statement

As a building type, a fire station is a sentinel. It is a civic symbol and operational infrastructure. The watchful, anticipatory nature of firefighting is balanced by the symbolic and starkly functional requirements of the program.

Housing people, equipment and technology in equal parts, an urban fire station is a civic symbol anchored by the austerity of function. It is a key symbolic and physical component in the city’s network of safety. This project for a new building co-locates three critical facilities in an emergency and disaster response infrastructure: a fire station, an emergency operations center and a fire alarm center. Supplemental program elements include 44 structured parking spaces, a large exterior apparatus apron, a public plaza, vegetated roof patios, and a landscaped blast setback.

The project draws on urban cultural traditions, favoring tough associations to industry, infrastructure and technology, and avoiding the now-prevalent organic metaphors representative of much of Pacific Northwest architecture. This is the developmental source of the new fire station’s identity and an appropriate language for building new projects in this city. n

%d bloggers like this: