After determining the existing historic courthouse building would not be suitable for continued use, design considerations for a new courthouse building studied the physical context of adjacent buildings.
The new building design required a sensitive approach to honor the historic courthouse built in 1904, and the standalone jail built in 1896. (The original jail now serves as the Huerfano Mining Museum). Both structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For the new building, a brick façade is the preferred material as a modern solution suitable for its long-term durability. Brick complements rather than mimic the contextual sandstone masonry used on the historic buildings. In fact, the overall design concept pays homage to the historical presence of the old courthouse building. The scale, texture, and style of the new building is unobtrusive and harmonious while providing an impressive modern judicial center presence.
Brick colors and patterns are a central design characteristic considered important enough to the design team that it became a participatory activity with the community. During one community meeting, bricks were assembled in various configurations and patterns by participants. Back in the offices of project architect, Anderson Hallas Architects, dozens of additional configurations were assembled and studied in the firm’s courtyard. (See video).
Final Brick Design Concept
The final brick concept uses a three-color palette. Grain-textured “Dark Gray,” “Ginger and “Thistledown” colored bricks are used across the building’s facade using single-colored “Flemish” patterns. Intermittent areas of accent occur like recessed, protruding, or pattern interrupts where either different building materials intersect or add dimension to large wall areas. A two-toned dimensional coursing “crazy quilt” accent pattern is used at the building’s front elevation tower section.