The New Mecklenburg County courthouse marks the eastern approach to the Government Center in downtown Charlotte. Under one roof, it consolidates facilities for Superior and District Courts formerly housed in separate buildings, including 39 criminal, civil, and family courtrooms, a collegial judges’ office floor, the offices of the Court Clerk and Trial Court Administrator, the Sheriff’s Department, and the Jury Assembly space.
The perimeter of the triangular plan has courtrooms and office spaces on its two street frontages, with elevators and monumental stairs alongside the courtyard. The light-filled central atrium, which features a semi-circular indoor terrace elevated on a ring of columns at the fourth-floor level, serves as a place of circulation, meeting, and orientation. Major public access areas are placed at the two entry levels with four courtroom floors above and the judges’ floor, with library and conference spaces, at the top.
At the exterior, the volumetric impact of the building is lightened by the treatment of the facades as perforated planar surfaces which part at the corners and rise above the main entrance in an iconic turret.
In association with HDR Architecture and Schenkel Schultz Architects