Madera County Courthouse

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Madera County Courthouse

State of California

Madera, California

The Madera Courthouse was designed to demonstrate the transparency and dignity of democracy, providing a place to facilitate the workings of the American ideals of justice. It has been positioned on the site to work with the existing Historic Courthouse and Courthouse Park creating a "town square." Oriented towards true north, the monumental public façade reveals itself towards the Park and the greater Downtown area. The transparency in the design of the north-facing elevation welcomes the public and provides a visual connectivity from the outside to the inside. There is a procession and hierarchy in the design of the public flow, transitioning from the informal to the formal experience.

The four-story, steel-framed structure features ten courtrooms and ten judicial chambers with clerical support; administration and jury services; traffic, civil, family, juvenile and criminal divisions; prisoner holding and subterranean parking for judges and key courts personnel; and in-custody vehicle accommodations for the County Sheriff and California Department of Corrections. The design conveys the image of a courthouse, while reflecting the dignity of the public in an approachable way.

Awards Info


  • 2012 Award of Citation, Unbuilt Category
    • AIA/San Joaquin Chapter
  • 2012 Chicago Athenaeum Finalist
    • American Architecture Awards