Sign In, Renew, Sign Up

Search AIA

Search AIA Go

Architect's Knowledge ResourceDocuments

Page Tools

Reed Insight and Community


County of Calaveras San Andreas Courthouse (Merit)

San Andreas, CA


This new courthouse for Calaveras County is located on an undeveloped rural site with the base of the building reflecting the natural surroundings. Mitigating the extreme grade changes, free flowing, but weighted and grounded in its materiality, it becomes the wellspring from which the upper floors emanate. The court clerk, jury assembly and support offices are housed on the first level reflecting the foundation of support to the court system. The upper level is ordered and orthogonal with courtrooms juxtaposed against the base. Just as the court system provides order and guidance to our society, this literal interpretation provides a resolution to building massing. At the roof line the (4) courtroom volumes are expressed against a datum of metal, symbolic of the mountains that rise above the horizon. The building interior is organized around a great hall / atrium space. This two-story space visually links the publicly accessed functions from one central location. By creating a semi double loaded floor plate, the design offers ease of way finding. The great hall also extends to the exterior design where the building folds in on itself, expressing this central space from the building approach and a connection between the interior and exterior. The site organization and entry procession situates the courthouse in a place of prominence at the top of a knoll. The entry pavilion is positioned as the terminus for the entry drive and defines the building at a larger scale. Pedestrian access from public parking is across a carefully proportioned entry plaza signifying the arrival at a place of importance. A double height entry lobby transitions the scale from exterior to interior prior to arriving at the security screening checkpoint. The northern portion of the site has parking for staff along with secure parking in a sub-level.



California Administrative Office of Courts


Type of facility


Type of construction


Site Area

6.2 acres

Area of building

44,621 SF

Total cost of construction


Status of Project




DLR Group

Structural engineer

Buehler & Buehler

Mechanical engineer

Capital Engineering Consultants

Electrical engineer

Ent Engineering Enterprise

Soils consultant

Alta Consulting Services


Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy