Kent County

Courthouse

Grand Rapids, Michigan // 323,000 sq. ft.

Client Challenge and TowerPinkster Solution

TowerPinkster, in partnership with HOK, completed site selection evaluations, space program analysis and complete design implementation of the 13-story Kent County and City of Grand Rapids Courts. The new facility consolidates the once-separate District, Circuit and Probate Courts. The program called for twenty new courtrooms, six hearing rooms, judicial chambers, secure detention areas, administrative floors, restricted below-grade parking, and future expansion space for the County and City judicial systems. Additional program considerations included state-of-the-art active and passive security design and courtroom technology.

Our team developed the building form through the study of the sculptural forces the site and neighboring buildings create. The standard floor layout is divided into halves resulting in a ‘North Tower’ and a ‘South Tower.’ The North Tower, with its proximity to Calder Plaza and the government center, is tall and solid, setting a tone of dignity as it anchors the building to its site. The South Tower is angled, opening space at the corner of Ottawa Street and Lyon Street and making a gesture to the shifting downtown city grids. The building’s plaza design incorporates an architectural reference to the Romanesque City Hall formerly located on this site. A new clock tower at the historically significant corner of Ottawa and Lyon is constructed of the same alternating bands of brick used on the new Courthouse and includes one of the original faces from the City Hall clock tower.

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