North Butte County Courthouse
Architect: TSK Architects
Location: Chico, California
Clear wayfinding and design that reflects the local culture make this modern two-story courthouse an important anchor to the new Meriam Park development in Chico, California.
The North Butte County Courthouse is a modern two-story courthouse that serves as an important anchor to the new Meriam Park development in Chico, California. The goals of this courthouse’s design were twofold: reflect the unique culture of Chico in the architecture, and be both highly functional and accessible for the public and the permanent staff.
The building is organized with four courtrooms on the second floor, supported by judicial chambers, jury deliberation rooms, law library, court administration, and public access amenities. The first floor houses the high volume court, public counters, jury assembly, a self-help center, and family services. Public vertical circulation is prominently located behind security screening, with clear wayfinding to public counters through natural flow of circulation space along the southern edge of the building.
The basement contains primary in-custody holding, vehicle sallyport, special environmental records, IT and security services, and building support spaces. The courthouse has planned to integrate three additional courtrooms stacked below those on the second floor, with building expansion for court operations and public counters to the north of the building mass. Repurposing of the jury assembly area permits connection to future development.
The massing composition and design story link well to the Northern California region, and the courtrooms benefit from the use of daylighting from two directions. The interior spaces and materials are well developed and elegant.