To increase the efficiency of the justice system and support growth of the justice agencies, the Lake County Board approved a Courthouse Expansion Project designed to meet the need of the current justice facility. The masterplan design aspired to form a gateway to the downtown district, provide unification of an eclectic government campus spanning four city blocks, and provide the downtown core with a rich group of buildings that move the city and county into the future and serve the community well.
The Lake County Government Center Renovation and Expansion serves as the keystone for a complex of buildings and open spaces on a four-block county government campus. Lake County hired Heery to provide planning, programming and design services for a multi-phased expansion. Design inspiration for the courthouse came, in part, from the county’s assemblage of public buildings, including the 1922 historic courthouse, the courts annex with its circular atrium, the current judicial building, and the county criminal justice facility.
By reorienting the existing judicial building, the new courts facility formally addresses Main Street with a public plaza. The addition houses court functions including one large courtroom, five standard courtrooms, collegial judicial chambers, detention, and Clerk of the Court management functions. Renovations to the existing building are currently being made to court-related departments, as well as the State Attorney and Public Defender offices, while maintaining the eight existing courtrooms and associated chambers. A key component to the success of the project was the design team’s ability to unify the range of architectural styles across campus, with the historic courthouse serving as the genesis of a campus palette. Heery went to great lengths to find complementary building forms, materials, and colors to reinforce a campus theme and create a transitional architecture that blends well with its context.
The project has been phased over a 14-year period to accommodate the growing needs of the community and includes:
168,000 SF Expansion, 120,000 SF Renovation, Parking Garage: 1,548 Spaces / 8 Levels