BMJ Stone
EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Pullman Ermator
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Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
December 14, 2011 7:00 AM CST

California’s Redwood City Courthouse Square

Hardscaping case study


California’s Redwood City Courthouse Square won the Congress for New Urbanism 2007 Charter Award.

California’s Redwood City Courthouse Square won the Congress for New Urbanism 2007 Charter Award.
Redwood City Courthouse Square in California is the perfect union of historic and contemporary design, creating a beautifully open space for the public and community events. Courthouse Square was created on a parcel of land that was formerly occupied by the courthouse annex, which blocked the restored historic 1800s courthouse entry. Removing the courthouse annex created a unique opportunity to design a new entry space to the courthouse as well as a public plaza.

The team

The Carlile•Macy design team of Santa Rosa California created a historic-based design reflecting the architectural character of the restored courthouse. The contractor was DPR Construction Inc., which directed, constructed and facilitated the vision. Architectural Facades Unlimited provided the architectural precast. Sullivan/Thompson Masonry & Restoration were the masonry installers of the precast and glass fiber reinforced cement (GFRC).

The challenge

Architectural Facades Unlimited created the precast elements (see images) of the plaza, which features one of the two semi-enclosed cafe pavilions, along with decorative fountains. The process involved creating from a two-dimensional drawing, a three-dimensional object, which is always challenging, provoking and rewarding.
Architectural Facades Unlimited created the GFRC wall panels, columns, signage, lintels, stair tread, precast fountains and fountain bowls from the Carlile • Macy design specifications.

The result

All of the hard work and creativity resulted in a stunning, historic-contemporary urban environment for the full enjoyment of all who visit.


The project won the Congress for New Urbanism 2007 Charter Award for Block, Street & Building Design. More can be seen on this project by visiting

Originally published in Masonry magazine.

About the Author

Alice Bracken is president of Architectural Facades Unlimited.


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