The new Courthouse Building West Tower has 730,000 SF of finished space to accommodate the needs of the Civil and Family Courts. It includes the County Clerk’s office, County administrative offices, Judicial offices, Sheriff Department offices, adult and juvenile holding cells, evidence and fire arms storage as well as office and retail space. The Judicial Complex presents itself as a strong civic landmark through the use of multiple architectural strategies.
The lobby is located alongside a new civic plaza which links the new courthouse with the existing east wing. A future garage will further accentuate the new plaza. The L-shaped tower massing allows for the public to look down on the civic space, in addition to views towards the South and East which face the beaches of Fort Lauderdale. A glass curtain wall, accentuated by the use of vertical fins, not only gives the façade a beautifully dignified civic expression but also acts as a solar screening device along the public corridors.
The planting, paved surfaces, lighting and furnishings will serve to define the public spaces associated with the new plaza. Plantings will provide intimate, human scale spaces not only for circulation but also shaded gathering areas serving a supporting role to the courthouse functionality. The plantings, paved surfaces, lighting and furnishings of a new civic plaza and linear park will serve to define the public spaces associated with the new plaza. Plantings will provide intimate, human scale spaces not only for circulation but also shaded gathering areas serving a supporting role to the Courthouse functionality.
The pavement will be light in color to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) having a high reflective index, as well as complementing the colors in the architecture of the Courthouse Building. The lighting shall enhance the atmosphere of the plaza at night providing a safe and comfortable outdoor space for visitors. This civic space will provide an important role by not only serving the needs of the civil and family courts, but also by providing an urban park and passive recreation area for the City and County.