This single-courtroom courthouse is located in Portola, a rural alpine community north of Truckee.
The new courthouse, at 600 South Gulling Street, replaces a deficient part-time courthouse in Portola and a leased court service center in Loyalton.
It serves the Superior Courts of Plumas and Sierra Counties, making it the first multi-jurisdictional courthouse built in California.
It allows for the sharing of resources between counties, minimizes travel to and from this remote location, and was designed so that local materials and labor could be used during construction.
Materials were selected which are durable and conjure feelings of stability and permanence.
A massive covered walkway welcomes visitors and protects them from snow and rain until they can enter the building.
The design is informed by regional architecture while simultaneously expressing contemporary qualities of form and detailing.
Exposed heavy timbers are used in the entry, lobby, and courtroom.
Planning for the new courthouse started in 2006; construction began in October 2008 and was completed in November 2009.
The project was completed on budget and eight months ahead of its original schedule. Planning started in 2006; construction began in October 2008 and was completed in November 2009.
The building features a prominent entry vestibule, a tall clerestoried lobby that brings in views and light, and a spacious and carefully designed wood-paneled courtroom.
The courthouse, which replaced a deficient part-time courthouse in Portola and a leased court service center in Loyalton, was designed to provide justice for both communities, which are often isolated in the winter because of snow.
The architecture firm accelerated its schedule by 100 working days, and the building floor slab was poured and secured for the weather the day before the snow fell.
The design is informed by regional architecture and materials while simultaneously expressing the dignity of the building’s function as a seat of justice.