Will County Courthouse
CGL developed an architectural program for the primary court components of Will County using the Will County Facility Needs Analysis completed in 2010 and the Will County Master Plan completed in 2011 as the basis. Focusing on the courts, the master plan called for a consolidation of primary court functions in downtown Joliet through the construction of new facilities and options for renovating the existing courthouse and the EMCO building. The master plan also called for the development of permanent satellite court facilities in the northern and eastern portions of the County to respond to the concentrations of population and bring services to the residents across the geographic area for ease of access to justice.
The new facility accommodates 38 courtrooms serving criminal, civil, family, traffic, and special proceedings caseloads. The ten-story tower is composed of four court floor plates complete with judges’ chambers and jury deliberation suites. Disabled accessibility is integrated into the circulation corridors adhering to universal design principles. Court agency space accommodating outpost offices for the State’s Attorney, Adult Probation, Law Library, and Sheriff are located in the four-story wing, positioned perpendicular to the tower mass. At ground level, the light-filled public lobby with direct access to jury assembly, traffic court and the Circuit Court Clerk public service area is expressed as a temple to social equity and open access to justice.
The purpose of the architectural program is to define the square footage assigned to each space to support a department and recommends how the spaces should be organized in relation to one another. Accordingly, the spaces recommended are organized in tables by groupings/clusters that reflect the organizational and operational needs of each department.