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Gwinnett County Police Headquarters Annex Building

Lawrenceville, Georgia


Modern emergency communication and operations center planning and design requires careful integration of site influences, advanced technology for telecommunication and data systems, security planning and the provision of dedicated technologically and sophisticated but tranquil user spaces. This project’s design embraced a new-school and non-bunker approach that is representative of a progressive client, community and approach to public safety. The project symbolizes this through thoughtful site planning and respecting the adjacent Police Headquarters. Color, form, scale, and sense of entry of this project are designed as an echo of and to complement the Police Headquarters. The assembly of the envelope materials achieves a spirited and complementing composition of materials but avoids a hardened bunker look. The design solution incorporates architectural precast, metal panels and glazing into a composition that achieves a sensible scale and composition respectful to the adjacent Police Headquarters, site and community. The building composition is responsive to the site. The front orientation introduces a compound curve echoing the gently curved access road. The building and associated assemblies require hardening under FEMA 361 to achieve survivability requirements. This orchestration of the design components achieves a spirited and balanced design composition. To achieve a tranquil interior environment the design maximizes daylighting without compromising computer monitor glare and other video qualities. The daylighting also offers offset to energy usage in a high energy consuming building resulting from all of the communication systems and redundancies in a 24/7 operation. Controlling natural light in 911 call taking and the emergency operations center areas is a delicate balance. The strategic design approach to daylighting considered site orientation, placement of glazing, blending natural light and interior lighting, appropriate controls and building hardening requirements. In addition, the site orientation afforded a fantastic opportunity that allowed for maximum utilization of northern light in the call taking center.



Gwinnett County Government


Type of facility

Law Enforcement

Type of construction


Site Area

6.3 acres

Area of building

45,408 SF

Total Cost of Construction


Status of Project




Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc. (HOK)

Associate Architect: Public Safety Building Planning and Programming Consultant

RossDrulisCusenbery Architecture, Inc

Communications Planning and Programming

RCC Consultants, Inc.

Structural Engineer

Pond and Company, Inc.

Civil Engineer

Pond and Company, Inc.

MEP Engineering

Newcomb & Boyd

Fire Protection Engineering

Newcomb & Boyd

Acoustics, Noise and Vibration Control

Newcomb & Boyd

Voice/Data, Lighting, Communications Systems

Newcomb & Boyd

Cost Estimating



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