Justice & Government Projects

Bosque Farms Municipal Complex

City of Bloomfield - Court / MVD / PD

Colfax County - Leon Karelitz Judicial Center

Isleta Pueblo Tribal Services Center

McKinley County Judicial Center

Sandia Admin & Court Building

San Juan County Administration

“I find your accommodation of our special needs, and thoughtful consideration of sometimes competing interests to be especially refreshing...we are all extremely satisfied with the amount of time you’ve spent with us in seeking our input on the facility.”


John M. Paternoster

District Judge

State of New Mexico Eighth Judicial District Court



Architecture  |  Planning  |  Interiors

© RMKM Architecture, P.C.  2019.  All rights reserved.

< Back to Projects



Colfax County is rich with natural attributes and a diverse cultural history. The citizens value the rural lifestyle of their community and the Judicial Center architecture acknowledges and respects these characteristics. The Center reflects a solemn sense of dignity, wisdom and honor appropriate to the locale and function. Like traditional robed judicial dress, the facility respectfully and symbolically adorns dominating black masonry facades, which are also reminiscent of bitumen deposits mined in the region.


Though the County's initial program included District Courts, Sheriff's Headquarters, District Attorney's Offices and an Emergency Operations Center, there were several budget constraints that had to be addressed first. A phasing strategy was developed and the Phase I architectural design allows for easy expansion in Phase II.  The first phase includes the Courts and Sheriff's Headquarters, while the second phase comprises the District Attorney's Office and an EOC.


Two distinct volumes form the building - a taller, black block volume contains Court spaces, while a lower, white volume contains Law Enforcement spaces. The naturally sloping site allowed the design team to place the custody spaces, which need the highest security, on a lower level thus reducing the amount of secure custody circulation on the main level. Controlled day-lighting filters throughout most of the main level reduce the need for artificial light and create a sense of ease that is desirable in workplaces that, due to their nature, are often stressful.

Owner: Colfax County

Location: Raton, NM

Size: 17,000 SF

Photos by Kirk Gittings