Superior Court of California, County of Yolo

Architect: Fentress Architects

Associated Architect: Dreyfuss + Blackford

Location: Woodland, CA

Awarded a publish

The Superior Court of California, County of Yolo is the most significant civic building to be constructed in Woodland in nearly a century.

The new courthouse consolidates Yolo County's current operations, which were scattered among six buildings in Woodland, into a single space for maximum efficiency. The new facility meets all current seismic and safety requirements, relieves overcrowding, and provides for future expansion.

"It is easy to understand the civic purpose and community role for this courthouse building. The dais wall in the courtrooms softens the feel of the courtroom, and echoes the exterior gestures." ~Jury comment

Superior Court of California, County of Yolo's design is expressive of open and accessible government while representing the dignity and strength of the courts. The design approach focuses on the importance of activities within the courthouse, addressing adequate spaces that will be adaptable to future changes in judicial practice. Balancing transparency and security, separate circulation paths are provided for staff, the public, and in-custody defendants.  Located downtown on the south side of Main Street between 5th and 6th Streets, the building contains 14 courtrooms, jury assembly, and state-of-the-art administrative and judicial offices. The design features a curved façade facing Main Street, with a four-column portico at the entrance recalling the historic Superior Court of California, County of Yolo. The transparent glass lobby welcomes visitors and symbolizes open and accessible government.

The 162,560-square-foot, five-story building provides Yolo County with a civic structure that honors the historic courthouse and symbolizes a commitment to the people. The new courthouse exterior features a granite base with an architectural precast façade on the upper levels inspired by the Sierra White granite found in the region. A covered arcade offers shade and protection, and the two-story glass lobby offers a strong visual connection between the exterior and interior. The project is designed to meet the Judicial Council's Trial Court Facility Standards and has achieved LEED Silver certification.

Additional information

Acoustical Engineer: Shen Milsom & Wilke

Associate Architect  & Interior Design: Dreyfuss & Blackford

Code Consultant: Jensen Hughes

Cost Consultant: Cumming Clarke

Design Architect & Architect of Record: Fentress Architects

Detention: Detention Solutions

Engineer - Civil: Cunningham Engineering

Engineer - Electrical: The Engineering Enterprise

Engineer - Low Voltage: Shen Milsom & Wilke

Engineer - Mechanical: Capital Engineering Consultants, Inc.

Engineer - Structural: Buehler & Buehler

Landscape Architect: Cunningham Engineering

Programming: Jay Farbstein & Associates, Inc

Signage: Tacito Design Inc.


Mallory Scott Cusenbery, AIA (Chair), RossDrulisCusenbery, Sonoma, California

Hon. Celeste F. Bremer, United States District Court | Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa

Michael Cox, AIA, Wold Architects and Engineers, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Julian Jaffary, B.Arch, OAA, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thomas Pulaski, Prince William County Police Department, Woodbridge, Virginia

Arthur Thompson, AIA, SMRT, Portland, Maine

Charles W. Wend, Mount Vernon, Washington

Image credits

01 Yolo County Courthouse-RVR

Rien van Rijthoven

05 Yolo County Courthouse-RVR

Rien van Rijthoven

04 Yolo County Courthouse-RVR

Rien van Rijthoven

03 Yolo County Courthouse-RVR

Rien van Rijthoven

02 Yolo County Courthouse-RVR

Rien van Rijthoven