Capital Judicial Center

Augusta, ME

120,000 s.f. New Construction

The Capital Judicial Center project consolidated multiple judicial facilities into a single combined district and superior courthouse adjacent to the existing historic Kennebec County Courthouse. The steeply sloping site drops off towards the Kennebec River to the east presenting both a challenge and an opportunity. The design takes advantage of the slope to minimize the apparent volume of the new facility from State Street allowing the historic courthouse to remain prominent. A new south facing entry plaza was created providing access to parking and the new secure entry. Secure parking, sally port, and central holding are located in the hillside beneath the facility.


A significant program directive stipulated that the design must provide a safe environment and an openness that would feel welcoming to those seeking access to justice. The final design maintains the rigor of security best practices while locating large areas of glazing to provide transparency from the public plaza as well as daylight and views in public circulation areas. A grand stair with landings wrapped in glass connects public lobbies providing views of the river, the historic district and the state capital complex. The center houses six new courtrooms and access to a seventh in the old courthouse. The project scope included the restoration of this historically significant courtroom to accommodate the state supreme court.


The first LEED courthouse in the state is an urban brownfield redevelopment with sustainable features that include a high-performance envelope. Other features include:

  • a chilled-beam mechanical system that optimizes energy performance
  • CO2 sensors & direct outdoor air system for better air quality
  • water-use reduction through high-efficiency fixtures
  • enhanced commissioning
  • a white EPDM roof to reduce the heat-island effect
  • low-emitting materials
  • preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and carpools
  • water-efficient landscaping




AIA MAINE COTE (Committee On The Environment) AWARD


LEED for new construction GOLD CERTIFICATION


PDT Architects, select Photo credit: © Sandy Agrafiotis

State of Maine