Superior Court of California – San Diego

Superior Court of California - San Diego
Superior Court of California - San Diego
Superior Court of California - San Diego

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2016
  • Size Site Area: 1.40 acres Building Height: 395 feet Number of Stories: 25 Building Gross Area: 704,000
  • Awards
    2012, American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2018, Project of the Year, American Public Works Association 2018, Orchid for Architecture, Orchids & Onions 2017, Space Design, Finalist, Spark Awards 2016, Alonzo 2016 Downtown on the Rise Award, Downtown San Diego Partnership 2018, Gold Award, Building Team Awards, Building Design + Construction 2017, Best of Design Award – Honorable Mention: Civic–Administrative, Architect'S Newspaper 2018, Best Project - Southern California, Engineering News Record 2018, Citation Award, AIA - Justice Facilities Review 2019, IDEAS2 National Award, American Institute Of Steel Construction
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED BD+C NC (New Construction) Gold, BD+C, Gold
  • Collaborators
    Gannett Fleming Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc. (RWDI) Urs Corp. Weidlinger Associates Inc. Shen Milsom & Wilke Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (HLB) Hatch Mott Macdonald John A. Martin & Associates, Inc. Dewberry Ricce Greene Associates Certus Consulting, Inc. Cini-Little International, Inc. Edgett Wiliams Consulting Group Inc. (EWCG) Davis Langdon International Parking Design WSP Flack & Kurtz Jensen Hughes
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2016
  • Size Site Area: 1.40 acres Building Height: 395 feet Number of Stories: 25 Building Gross Area: 704,000
  • Awards
    2012, American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2018, Project of the Year, American Public Works Association 2018, Orchid for Architecture, Orchids & Onions 2017, Space Design, Finalist, Spark Awards 2016, Alonzo 2016 Downtown on the Rise Award, Downtown San Diego Partnership 2018, Gold Award, Building Team Awards, Building Design + Construction 2017, Best of Design Award – Honorable Mention: Civic–Administrative, Architect'S Newspaper 2018, Best Project - Southern California, Engineering News Record 2018, Citation Award, AIA - Justice Facilities Review 2019, IDEAS2 National Award, American Institute Of Steel Construction
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED BD+C NC (New Construction) Gold, BD+C, Gold
  • Collaborators
    Gannett Fleming Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc. (RWDI) Urs Corp. Weidlinger Associates Inc. Shen Milsom & Wilke Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (HLB) Hatch Mott Macdonald John A. Martin & Associates, Inc. Dewberry Ricce Greene Associates Certus Consulting, Inc. Cini-Little International, Inc. Edgett Wiliams Consulting Group Inc. (EWCG) Davis Langdon International Parking Design WSP Flack & Kurtz Jensen Hughes

The Superior Court of California – San Diego consolidates San Diego County’s criminal trial, family, and civil courts into a 25-story downtown tower. In the spirit of civic buildings with a strong but accommodating presence, SOM’s design integrates this formal repertoire with a language of robust subtractive massing that encloses a secure and welcoming interior.

The courthouse comprises a tower and podium clad in precast concrete, as well as a public plaza. Located on a former brownfield at the intersection of Union and C Streets, the project is designed as a catalyst for an emerging government district.

The first three levels of the courthouse support the busiest functions of the criminal courts, which include arraignment courts, misdemeanor courts, offices, and jury assembly rooms. These functions are serviced by a cascading stair and escalator along a three-story lobby. The lobby connects with a vestibule and a raised entry plaza. A fritted glass curtain wall brings natural light into the corridor, which is articulated with wood mullions and wood benches.

On its exterior, the courthouse features a distinctive soffit at its crown. With shaped aluminum panel sections, the soffit shades the building during the morning hours. It also captures and dynamically reflects southern and western light back onto the underside of the structure’s surface. Both practical and symbolic, this luminous design feature celebrates the San Diego skyline.