Broward County, with its county seat in Ft. Lauderdale, is the second largest county in Florida. Its 1.6 million residents rely on the Broward County Judicial System to serve their needs, so when outdated and overburdened facilities were identified as a roadblock for ordinary citizens in accessing the justice system, Broward County moved forward in developing a new, fully integrated courthouse and judicial campus.
Located on a downtown site, the new 20-story, 741,000 SF courthouse occupies a 1.55-acre portion of an existing 18-acre urban justice campus and is one of the few courthouses in the U.S. to consolidate a mix of court types including civil, magistrate, domestic relations, juvenile dependency and delinquency, criminal, domestic violence, and probate, as well as complete Clerk of Court functions, in one building. Other support spaces include Court Administration, State Attorney and Sheriff’s Department. Because of this mix, functional planning and programming has been a key element in the design to ensure that spaces are specifically designed to meet the needs of each type of space, as well as to provide proper circulation and security throughout the facility.
The joint venture team of Heery / Spillis Candela / Cartaya has worked with the county since 2005 in master planning and conceptual design of the 18-acre campus to accommodate planned growth through the year 2030. In addition to the courthouse facility currently in construction, the plan calls for a county office building, jail, three additional courthouse buildings, energy center and parking garage, as well as a series of pedestrian parks, plazas, and a riverfront promenade that will create a new civic campus for he Ft. Lauderdale community.
The design of the new courthouse creates a timeless, civic landmark that reflects the importance of the justice system while bolstering the court’s need for security, flexibility and sustainability. Key components of the project are: