“It's an attempt to reinterpret a public building type that in the most recent past might have been seen as a bunker-like fortress far from the city center. Instead, the new Lon Evans Corrections Center aims to be a good neighbor to the buildings that surround it – and to passers-by,” said DMSAS Principal Michael Swartz.
The exterior is designed to balance security essentials with a pleasing aspect, especially at pedestrian level. Among the jail’s most striking features, the pink granite selected for the building’s first floor comes from the same Texas quarry used for the County’s 1895 courthouse and recently completed Family Law Center. The north and south facades, which face two major thoroughfares in and out of Fort Worth, feature design details that include decorative panels with locally inspired forms, including the Lone Star and longhorn steer.
With four high-security detention units, the new Lon Evans Corrections Center is connected to the existing 16-story corrections center by both a sky bridge and tunnel. Program elements inside the $83 million facility include a main kitchen to provide meals for the entire county system, a central health unit to serve both new and existing corrections centers, and a visitation area. The building targets certification as one of the nation’s few LEED Gold corrections facilities.
Other celebrated entries in DMSAS’ Fort Worth portfolio include the Fort Worth Master Plan, the Nancy Lee & Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, Sundance West, Chase Bank Building and Tarrant County Family Law Center.
Based in Washington, D.C., DMSAS is best known for award-winning projects that become beloved civic and cultural attractions. Contextually appropriate and technically innovative, the DMSAS collection of civic masterpieces includes Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville; American Airlines Center in Dallas; Texas Rangers Stadium in Arlington, TX, the Yale Class of ‘ 54 Environmental Science Center and the Orioles’ Spring Training Facility at Ed Smith Stadium