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forsyth county courthouse

project story

Having outgrown the 1975 Forsyth County Hall of Justice some years ago, the County hired CJMW to lead a team to design a new courthouse and administrative building. Originally planned as 2 buildings in an earlier study, the CJMW team realized that combining functions into one building not only provided cost savings, but also opportunities to improve efficiency and daily operations. The new 250,679-square-foot courthouse will start with 16 courtrooms and accommodate about 2,022 staff.

The building is designed to accommodate growth for additional courtrooms in the future. The first level includes a public lobby, customer service area, the clerk of court, traffic court and large district court. Two large district courts and other courts are on the second level. Jury assembly, one large superior court and three standard superior courts on the third level. District attorney, Guardian Ad Litem, juvenile court counselors and clerk of court would be on the fourth level; and the judicial chambers, clerk of court and conference suite/grand jury have space on the fifth floor.

An inmate tunnel connects from the jail to a lower-level staging area. In this way, in custody populations are no longer traveling through the same corridors, elevators and stairways as other building occupants and visitors. The fourth floor is primarily office space, allowing for future expansion and growth. Plans call for the fourth floor to have a bridge that will connect to the existing Forsyth County Government Center, creating a campus strategy that will help provide flexible solutions to the need for growth.

CJMW met with multiple user groups over a period of time to work out the program and preferences, setting the foundation for the final design.


Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Square footage: 250,679
Services: master planning, architecture, interior design, ffe
Associate Architects: S/L/A/M Collaborative, O’Brien Atkins Associates