Calaveras County Courthouse

San Andreas, CA

An adjacent historic Native American archaeological site provided design inspiration for the Calaveras County Courthouse including a striking 32 foot cantilever over an adjacent patio space which required a thin structural profile while providing adequate stiffness to minimize deflection. The building features 4 courtrooms, a full-height atrium with expansive skylight, a monumental exposed stair, and subterranean detention and parking. The seismic-force-resisting-system consists of structural steel Special Moment Resisting Frames for the above-grade portion of the building. To limit the number of structural frames and impact to the space, two-way “cruciform” moment frame columns were provided in several locations.

Quick Facts

  • Size: 44,600 SF
  • Architect: DLR Group
  • Certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council
  • Construction Cost: $26,600,000
  • Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies
  • Uses 38% less energy than a typical new building of its kind


  • 2015 Engineering News-Record (ENR) California - Award of Merit  
  • 2015 AIA Central Valley - Honor Award (Design)
  • 2015 AIA Central Valley - Merit Award (Sustainability)    
  • 2015 AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) - Certificate of Merit
  • 2014 AIA Florida - Merit Award  
  • 2014 AIA Orlando - Award of Honor  
  • 2014 AIA Sierra Valley Chapter - Design Excellence Award  

Photo credit: Chip Allen Architectural Photography