The new Siskiyou County Courthouse will be located on a downtown site in the small town of Yreka, California. Designed to echo the dignity of the court, this two-story, 67,500 square foot building will include five courtrooms, a basement holding facility, judges’ chambers, jury assembly and deliberation rooms, as well as administrative functions.
Designed to be uniquely reflective of the town and its character, the building will both enrich and supplement its context. These ideals are achieved with a building scale and a material palette that is a complement to the adjacent historic downtown. The building’s massing reflects its environment with a monumental entry and façade along the commercial frontage road of Fourth Street combined with the more private functions and a smaller massing on the west in response to the nearby residential neighborhood. The prominent use of wood at the entry canopy and for ceilings within the public spaces reflects the importance of the material in a community whose economy once relied heavily on the timber industry.
The design accommodates three separate and distinct zones of public, private and detention circulation. Judges move through the building via a restricted elevator and corridors which connect the parking to their courtrooms and chambers. Similarly, the detainees’ process of moving from the jail to the courtroom is achieved with a discreet series of vehicular sally ports, holding cells and elevators that only intersect with the public or judges’ paths of travel once inside the courtroom. Upon passing through security screening at the building entrance, ease of public access and clear navigation to upstairs courtrooms and jury assembly room is achieved with a two-story lobby and public stair that is immediately seen upon entering the building. Public service counters, as well as the Self Help Center and a high-volume courtroom make up much of the first floor area.