Napa County Criminal Justice Master Plan and Courthouse


County of Napa


Napa, California




48,000 sq ft


$10 million

The entry lobby is spacious and open, providing a calm atmosphere. Full security screening is provided in the entry vestibule, eliminating need for bulletproof transaction enclosures that are common to many older, retrofitted facilities. Employees and the public alike have a very favorable reaction to the open, relaxed design of the lobby.

Ergonomics, acoustics and site lines were carefully laid out with full-scale mockups to ensure that each courtroom meets all judicial needs. Audio and video recording equipment was carefully integrated into the elegant, formal millwork of the benches.

Pre-cast concrete and stone panels comprise the clean and simple exterior skin. The scale and layout of windows are in harmony with the historic courthouse just across the street.

Simple, stainless steel railings and canopy reflect a modern design motif that is in scale with the older, historic buildings in the downtown core.

Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture worked with a nationally recognized justice-planning firm to create a comprehensive criminal justice master plan for the County, The centerpiece of that plan is the Criminal Courthouse on Third Street in downtown Napa, adjacent to the historic Hall of Justice.

The Napa County Criminal Courthouse is a model of modern court function and automation. Consisting of three floors plus a service basement, it houses five courtrooms, judges’ chambers and related support facilities. The building is exceptionally efficient in space utilization with dual-use circulation spaces controlled by sophisticated automated security systems.

The courtroom benches and related support facilities feature electronic records retrieval, and court recording and disbursement, greatly increasing efficiency in data transfer. Computer-based control systems manage nearly every system within the building, from lighting to air conditioning, security and court records. This sophisticated ‘smart’ building will serve the County well into the 21st Century.

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