Martinsburg Police Department & Municipal Court

With a growing Police Department and Municipal Court operations, the City of Martinsburg was in need of additional space for these crucial judicial and law enforcement services.  The city purchased a parcel of property just steps away from City Hall that was previously home to the local Chapter of the American Legion as the location for a new justice facility.  Working closely with representatives from the City, Police Department and Municipal Court, Silling performed programming services and developed a conceptual design to demonstrate how the program can be realized in a new building constructed at the corner of Race and College Streets in the historic downtown district.

The massing of the building is a representation of the interplay between solid and void, with a subtle response to the distinctly Italianate character of the historic context that appropriately marks the facility’s place in time.  Strong, traditional stone and brick masonry is used in contrast with glass and metal panels to communicate the vertical ordering of the building base, shaft, and cap, culminating in a pronounced projected cornice capping a continuous clerestory window system.  The building site solution places the facility at the northwest corner, honoring the traditional notion of the street edge and the density of the city core.  The large glass area on the public parking side of the first level is a community room/training room easily accessed from the public

lobby and security screening area, and in concept reflects the transparent and permeable nature of the historic storefront of the city.  A ceremonial component of the project is expressed in the insulated translucent panel stair anchoring the urban corner. The simple form provides for well-lit yet private circulation up through the various floors of the facility, while illuminating as a soft blue lantern in the evening – marking the constant presence, protection, and service of the Martinsburg Police Department.

From a building organization perspective, the first level consists of separated public and staff entries and essential response spaces related to the effective mission of the Martinsburg Police Department.  The second floor of the facility includes public access and lobby space, as well area for the administrative functions of the police divisions.  The top floor of the project includes large public waiting space, accessing the new Municipal Courtroom as well as public transaction spaces for the Magistrate, Clerk, and Cashier functions.  Secure, back-of-house spaces with separate circulation paths are provided for the judicial, attorney, staff, and defendant users of the court.  Again, the exterior massing and fenestration of the building follows the space planning solution intentionally and functionally, providing for security and privacy where required and offering maximum daylighting and views where most appropriate.


City of Martinsburg


Martinsburg, WV


36,000 gsf


New Construction


Community, Justice