Contemporary Interpretation

Montezuma Combined County Courts

Cortez, CO

The Montezuma Combined County Courts is located in the southwest corner of the state, and the nearest town to Mesa Verde National Park, in Cortez, Colorado.  Situated on a seven acre site just north of town directly across from the current County Sheriff, the building bisects the high point of the site and will be integrated into the existing site topography, creating a balanced site with terraced parking, bioswale and natural vegetation.

The concept of the building is a derivative of Mesa Verde. A Kiva element near the main public entry defines the entry plaza and functions as a public community room when not in use as a jury assembly room. The overall wedge like form of the main building is symbolic of the plains rising to meet the mountains while abstractly referencing the crevice in the Mesa Verde mountainside. The significant overhang on the SE façade of our building refers to the recess in the mountain where Mesa Verde is located. The solidity of massing and repetition of punched openings in the wall below the overhang is reminiscent of the exterior aesthetic of the dwellings within Mesa Verde. The main exterior building materials will consist weathering steel metal panels on the walls and roof, a light colored stucco finish, and multiple types of glazing.

Overall the intent is to create a progressive courthouse that derives its aesthetic from a contemporary interpretation of the traditional southwestern architectural vocabulary.   The proposed project consists of one single story building of approximately 32,450 SF with an adjacent sally port.  The intent of the development is to consolidate and modernize elements of the 22nd Judicial District of Colorado into one building. The main level of the building will contain four courtrooms, various administrative support offices, and the offices of the probation department. In addition to the building’s main level, a sub-grade lower floor will also be constructed to create a secure route for transporting incarcerated suspects into the building via the secure sally port.

P:35023 Montezuma County Court HousePresentations16-0211 Plan
P:35023 Montezuma County Court HousePresentations16-0211 Plan



P:35023 Montezuma County Court HousePresentations16-0217 DD P