Mohave County Superior Court

Kingman, Arizona

Project Info

  • Client

    Mohave County

  • Size

    66,000 sf

  • Delivery method

    Design Bid Build

  • Role on project

    Prime Architect

  • Project Completion:

    2020

  • Project Budget:

    $18M

  • DFDG Team Members
  • Chad Billings

    Project Director

  • Denise Orr

    Project Manager

  • Nicki Jensen

    Interior Designer

Thirty years in the making, Mohave County Court's modern vision is finally realized.

Mohave County’s new Superior Court is the perfect blend of historical and contemporary design aesthetics, combining leading technology with a time-honored legacy. The design reflects this union of old and new by creating a space meeting the needs of the staff and public, while seamlessly blending into the historical context of the surrounding site.

The new courthouse features six courtrooms, one hearing room, jury deliberation facilities, attorney/client consultation, and detention facilities. The collegial style fourth-floor judicial suite features a large breakroom with breathtaking views of the Hualapai Mountains.

New Technology Advancements Promote Security and Public Safety

Secure circulation patterns for judges, staff, the public provide enhanced security. The building design invites the public into shared spaces and deters them from entering secure areas, ensuring that staff, judges, and individuals in custody can move safely.

Each courtroom includes a fully automated touch panel system that controls remote appearances. Evidence is directly controlled from the Judge’s bench and lectern. This innovation allows evidence to be presented to the jury in the courtroom for in-person and fully remote hearings. Additionally, each courtroom has three separate entrances for the judicial / court staff, jury, and the public.

This same technology is incorporated into each judicial assistant’s (JA) office, allowing a direct audio feed from any courtroom in the building to the witness rooms, holding cells, and robing rooms.

High-Level Security through Maximum Visibility

The distinguishing entry rotunda provides for organized queuing before fully entering the lobby spaces. Court clerks required additional security and visibility to the public. Glass dividers create a sense of privacy, while still allowing visibility. Even furniture choices embody safety with higher stools for clerks, who can sit at eye level with the public, creating a physiologically safer interaction.

Two courtrooms have a viewing window from the holding cells, as well as windows from adjoining conference rooms that allow victims to view court proceedings in a secure area. Centralizing all Judges and JA’s on the fourth floor with break rooms, conference rooms, and lounge areas also increase security while inviting more comradery. Each floor level provides separate, secure circulation areas and elevators for the public staff, and in-custody transport.

Stress-Reducing Interiors

Deliberate attention was paid to cost-efficiency and durability when selecting specialty materials. The color palette meets the courthouse’s needs while highlighting the natural beauty of the site. Warm, inviting, and calming neutrals created a soothing ambiance throughout the building. Because visitors and court participants often enter under anxiety-inducing circumstances, the neutral colors promote a calm experience.

Historical and Community Context

Addressing the community’s concern that the new building would overshadow the downtown area and the site’s iconic cypress trees, the design of the new courthouse further accentuates the existing site features and ties into its historical fabric. A refreshed courtyard landscape design connects all three buildings, which are also physically connected via the new glazed bridge. The entry rotunda embraces the past by providing framed views of the campus’s historical features: the old Courthouse, historic jail, and World War II Memorial Statue.

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