Located in a low-income residential area of a small south Texas town, this center posed difficult design issues – how to be sensitive to the center’s neighbors while incorporating symbols of law enforcement.

The juvenile center was designed as a “friendly fortress.” The center’s appearance and presence were enhanced with simple mission style elements. The use of traditional materials and forms evoked a comfortable sense of place and blended with the residential area. Law enforcement symbolism is used to reinforce the purpose of the facility.

Glass block portals and raised towers introduce natural light and spatial volume. The building holds 18 juvenile offenders, and is supported by a full service kitchen and dining room, classroom, outdoor exercise area and probation department offices. The facility is divided into two buildings, detention space and office space, that are connected by an open breezeway.


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