The City of Newark had long outgrown the 1960s complex, largely housed in an existing "vertical city hall concept" eight-story tower.  Government departments were spread among the floors, presenting a confusing and oftentimes frustrating puzzle for the community residents and business individuals.

The commission entailed design and construction of a new police annex and Main Public Library as well as renovation of the existing tower structure--the spaces vacated as the reshuffling of departments took place.  This presented a coordination challenge over the course of construction as well.  Included within the tower renovation was the design for a new City Council chamber.

The new Police Station was an attached annex to the high-rise, a single-story 8,000 sqft. addition stretching out into available property at the base of the tower.  This fairly large facility would extend along the length of a newly created, attractive “avenue” approach into the City park and the new Main Library beyond.  The decision was made to minimize the building’s impact by way of a generous, landscaped setback from the avenue and by recessing it into the site.   A continuous band of clerestory windows under a spreading level roof is primarily all one sees from this approach.  The spaces within benefit from the natural daylighting and ventilation accorded by these windows.  The Police Station’s presence is known, but it does not draw attention away from the community assets of the park around and adjacent Library, which is the visual focal point in the civic center master plan.

The Police Station Annex provided separate facilities for lockers, training, briefing and interrogations--which all had previously been carried out in one crowded room.  There are also separate areas for showers and exercise, facilities lacking in the previous police quarters.  The police annex contains a separate security drive-in corridor whereas detainees were previously brought through public access spaces.  Police detective and fire and police administrative offices were moved from portable buildings on site to the third and fourth floors of the remodeled tower.

The public entrance is located upon the north elevation and shares a new main entry with the older tower.  The Police Station Annex is pulled apart from the tower just enough to create an attractive garden court between which can be viewed and enjoyed by both the public and City employees.  Police personnel access the building from a separate and secure entry located upon the southwest elevation.  The Police Station also houses a large training classroom, as well as exercise and locker rooms for the officers.

Aaron G. Green Associates, Inc.
5 Third Street Suite 224
San Francisco, CA 94103
415 777.0530 voice
415 777.1014 fax

City of Newark
Civic Center Additions,
New City Council Chamber and Police Annex

Newark, California