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  Alachua County Courthouse Criminal Justice Center, Page 28Alachua County Courthouse Criminal Justice Center

100 East Pine Street, #404, Orlando, FL 32801

Gainesville, Florida
Total Square Feet: 119,779
Construction Period: Nov 2001 to Sep 2003

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Blum, Schumacher & Associates, Inc. - 14260 W. Newberry Road, #347, Newberry, FL 32669
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: PPI Construction Management, Inc. - 8200 N.W. 15th Place, #B, Gainesville, FL 32606
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: TLC Engineering For Architecture - 1717 South Orange Avenue, #300, Orlando, FL 32806
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: JCR Consulting - 331 White Oak Circle, Maitland, FL 32751
COST ESTIMATOR: Cost Management, Inc. - 5507 Alhambra Drive, Orlando, FL 32808

The new Alachua County Courthouse Criminal Justice Center houses 11 new courtrooms and is situated on 6.2 acres. In an attempt to solve the county's operational issues of having a civil and a criminal court building, the new criminal courts facility brings with it the Clerk of the Court criminal operations, a portion of the court-reporting department, and staff from court administration. A new jury assembly space that is located in the criminal courthouse supports both buildings, making up for the lack of adequate assembly space in the existing courthouse.

The new criminal courthouse encompasses 6 blocks a half mile west of the existing courthouse in downtown Gainesville, Florida. Since the 6-block site is more than adequate to support the new criminal courthouse, future growth beyond this project can be accommodated on this site. The criminal courthouse at four floors produces a ground floor of approximately 39,000 square feet. Sited to the northeast corner of the site, this allows for future expansion scenarios to occur to the south. Up to as many as three future construction phases will make this site the new judicial complex for the downtown and County.

The development of the architecture has proceeded along the dual aims of creating a building, which would not only reflect the dignity and honor appropriate to a courthouse, but also would make a notable yet sympathetic civil addition to the fabric of the host downtown. The design draws from classical architecture with a vertical vocabulary, which is organized in a prototypical classical formula of base, middle and top. It is intended that this building have an architectural feel different from a commercial or religious structure. The strong solid ends and somewhat severe austerity of the elevations call attention the seriousness of what this building represents and sets it apart from the more superficial aspects of our day-to-day commercial architecture.

The building mass is composed of 3 separate volumes and is a reflection of the functional aspects of the building. The first and largest is the main courts tower; levels 1-4 contain primarily the courts and their direct support. The separation of the judicial chambers allowed for the creation of the low wing along southwest Second Avenue. The third component is the two-story entrance pavilion facing the north east of the low wing and tower.

This tri-part arrangement of parts allows the building to have a more massive base and to attenuate as it reaches towards the sky, thereby creating a more visually pleasing and proportional silhouette. It also allowed the building to respond to simultaneity of scales, creating both a gentle transition to the smaller size and scale of the buildings on the adjacent blocks as well as responding to the larger realm of the Gainesville skyline.

The asymmetrical "Z" shaped plan relationship of tower to low wing and entry pavilion creates the opportunity to form a powerful urban space and entry forecourt. This plaza not only allows the tower to reinforce the urban edge of Main Street but also becomes a major component of the entry sequence in to the building.

DIV 08:
Curtainwall, Entrances & Storefronts: Vistawall.

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