dLAB Studio An exploration of our firm's small projects and researchNEWS
35 Channel Center St. #103
Boston MA 02210
The renovation of the Orange County Government Center restores many of Paul Rudolph’s original intents and relationships, while at the same time addressing many of its original shortcomings. As one of the most enjoyed aspects of the original structure, the renovations seek to integrate the central courtyard with all parts of the complex. Originally composed of three “divisions,” the smallest division is removed to accommodate a new addition with a strong relationship to the courtyard. A second smaller addition is placed on the opposite side to balance the main elevation. The spaces between the additions and the original building are captured as an internal street to preserve the original façade of Rudoph’s building. The main atria in the original building are also restored and connected to a continuous circulation ring around the courtyard. This establishes continuous views to the courtyard helping to orient visitors throughout the building. The landscape from the courtyard is carried beyond the building where an existing parking lot is replaced with a lush civic lawn. The adjacent parking area is separated from the building by a terraced entry that brings visitors directly to the second level, which gives onto the courtyard. The additions are clad in a local fieldstone, and in a pattern and figure reminiscent of, but deferential to Rudolph’s original composition. Some elements of Rudolph’s original façade are surgically modified to bring additional light and views into the darker spaces of the building. The project seeks to bring new life to an embattled structure by understanding its legacy and building upon its original ideals.