Poland/Whittier Middle School
The most prominent new state building in decades, and probably its most energy-efficient, the courthouse is a distinctly modern building that conveys respect and dignity for the court and citizens alike. Plentiful natural light in all public spaces, restrained use of durable, elegant materials, a range of public art, and thoughtful placement of private conference and seating space mark the intentional tone of welcome and calm for people who may be going through tumultuous times. The same elegance pervades office and work areas, which take advantage of beautiful views north, south, and east to the Kennebec River.
The 4-story 120,000-sf courthouse combines superior and district courts with other court functions on a steeply sloping site adjacent to the historic Kennebec County Courthouse, to which it is linked by a second-floor bridge. The design observes ideal courthouse planning principles, with separate, secure circulation for staff, detainees, and the judiciary. High efficiency zone heating and cooling is provided by chilled beams and radiant floor heating. Designed, engineered, and built by a Maine team, the project is targeting LEED Silver certification.