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Northampton County Courthouse & Government Center

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Operating with court facilities that were functionally inadequate, overcrowded, and below modern security standards, Northampton County, Pennsylvania retained our firm to conduct a feasibility study, and subsequently, provide programming and design services for a new building and renovation of existing facilities.

Locating the new building on the Government Center site meant losing parking, and designing within significant site constraints. However, it provided an opportunity to remedy the haphazard campus development of the last 30 years by creating a new focal point for the site, harmonizing the new architecture with the existing 1820s courthouse and 1970s annex, and creating a street wall that is contextual with the 19th and early 20th century buildings surrounding the site in this historic city.

The new 240,000-square-foot courthouse provides 10 new courtrooms and chambers that meet modern standards for security, circulation, technology, and functional adequacy. The historic courtrooms remain; however, most of the remaining existing space has been reconfigured to meet modern standards and provide for efficient operations complex-wide. The program provides for near-term projected space needs, with a scheme that allows for displacement of office space to add additional courtrooms in the future.

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