How do you engineer an oval into a rectangle?
How do you engineer an oval into a rectangle?

AOC South Monterey County (Greenfield) Courthouse

With a lobby featuring a 30 foot wall of windows and a striking, oval-shaped concrete structure, this courthouse meets strict building safety codes while providing the community with an architecturally stunning public space.
Customized Solution
  • Visible through the exterior window walls, the lobby features a two-story, circular concrete form with a curved stair that wraps around one side. Engineering for a large, curved structure inside an otherwise rectangular building required extensive analysis and coordination between the structural and mechanical systems.
  • The two-story courthouse is home to three courtrooms, chambers, and administrative offices. In order to fit these various spaces, the project team worked to organize the vertical alignment of the sizable, open courtrooms above the segmented administrative offices while meeting strict AOC building codes. These codes include requirements to provide increased structural integrity to resist the force of a blast. These requirements were met even with 30-foot high glass window walls framed with architecturally exposed structural steel.


  • Architect: Mark Cavagnero Associates
  • Owner: Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)
  • Steel framed with cast-in-place concrete shear walls serving as lateral load-resisting system
  • Two-story, oval-shaped concrete form with a curved stair that is visible through exterior window walls