The Nevada City Courthouse designed by HMC Architects is located in Nevada City, United States. As an emotional response to the environment and its interaction with this sophisticated project type, the Nevada City Courthouse design was driven by simplicity in act, contrast in material and the clarity of staging this unique community’s active role in the facility. Orientation and location of the courthouse were influenced by these drivers, respecting the forest surroundings and letting the actions within the courthouse inform materials, shape and volume.
The courthouse is placed within the forest, glowing and filtering light through the natural fabric of the trees. A ‘lantern of justice’, the building radiates through the branches, inviting the public in. Materials were chosen based on the purpose and guiding principles of the courthouse. Glass represents the transparency of government and open public space; stone symbolises the strong and secure nature of the courthouse, as well as solid protection and upholding of the law; warm and tactile, wood expresses the welcoming spirit that embraces the community with its judicial purpose.