California’s Redwood City Courthouse Square
Hardscaping case study
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 teamThe 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 challengeArchitectural 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 resultAll of the hard work and creativity resulted in a stunning, historic-contemporary urban environment for the full enjoyment of all who visit.
AccoladesThe project won the Congress for New Urbanism 2007 Charter Award for Block, Street & Building Design. More can be seen on this project by visiting www.carlilemacy.com.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
About the Author
Alice Bracken is president of Architectural Facades Unlimited.