North Dade Justice Center
Arquitectonica’s first public building was the North Dade Justice Center which sits on a narrow site between a major highway and an environmental preserve. The main courtroom building is raised allowing transparency from the road to the preserve. The curving courtroom bridging is supported by two forms. One conceals the judges parking and arrival of prisoners; the other, a rounded triangle, contains the entrance to the building and clerk’s office. The resultant breezeway gives equal importance to visitors arriving from the parking lot and to those arriving by public transport.
A linear pedestrian plaza passing under the suspended upper volume links a bus stop with an outlook in the lake, thus uniting the two areas. The 39,000 SF building is designed as three separate volumes, each with its own function, facade, treatment, and shape. Downstairs a rectangular green stucco and black tile wall encloses a protected parking area. The entrance lobby is contained within a curved volume of vertical panels of pink marble and green glass. Upstairs, the courtrooms, judges chambers and ancillary facilities are arranged linearly to accommodate expansion within a volume clad in a curtain wall of white spandrel glass and silver reflective glass. The yellow tile-clad clerestories on the roof assure natural daylight in all courtrooms and jury deliberation rooms.