Comal County Landa Annex Courts Addition & Renovation

Comal County Landa Annex Courthouse

Comal County Landa Annex Courts Addition & Renovation

Expanding for Court Growth While Preserving the Past

The Comal County Landa Annex Courts project is a phased renovation in downtown New Braunfels, expanding the capacity of the District and County Courts to meet their growing needs. Originally slated as a renovation of the two Annex courtrooms, a feasibility study captured the need of a third courtroom and expanded space for current and projected growth.

HDR was tasked with the challenge of finding solutions that would give a valid 10-20 year expansion to the courts without building a significant amount of new square footage. The neighboring Landa building became a prime candidate to accommodate for the expansion. This multi-phase adaptive-reuse/expansion and renovation will proceed in three phases — phase 1: adaptive reuse and expansion of the Landa building; phase 2: temporary relocation and renovation of the County Annex building; and phase 3: completion where all of the functions are moved into their final spaces.

Sitting proudly in the downtown square, the Landa building is situated adjacent to the historic New Braunfels Courthouse. Originally constructed as a bank, the Landa building is a prime example of mid-century architectural design. With the expansion and adaptive re-use of the Landa building, it was important to the team to retain and celebrate the building’s original architectural details, both inside and out. 

Highlighting the original details, the Landa Building's pendant lights made by an important Texas artisan were repurposed as accent pieces in the public circulation area and the bank drive-through was transformed into a secure sally port for delivery of in-custody defendants to the courthouse. The historic bonded brass elevator cab doors and brick detailing have been retained, showcasing the skill of craft from this time period. Through careful coordination of the new mechanical system — through the gallery and over the jury box — enabled the team to maintain a 10-foot 6-inch height over the main within the constraints of the 13-foot tall floor.

The 36,000 sf adaptive re-use and expansion of the Landa Building will provide:

  • three new courtrooms and judges' chambers
  • secure holding spaces for defendants in custody
  • replacement of interior partitions, MEP systems, data, AV and security upgrades          

With the completion of the Landa building, phase 2 includes moving all District Courts out of the County Annex building to temporarily occupy the Landa Courthouse during the 17,600 square-foot renovation of the Annex.

Features of the new Annex Court Building renovation will include the following:

  • expanded and more functional security screening area at the ground floor
  • improvements to County Clerk space, restrooms and public space
  • cosmetic up-grades to the second floor
  • 6,000 square feet of renovated space on the third floor to accommodate four courtrooms –
    two new district courtrooms and the renovation of two existing district courtrooms

In the final phase of the project, the District Courts will move back into the renovated Annex building. The District Attorney’s office and the County Courts will move out of their existing ad hoc courtrooms into the new Landa Courthouse, leaving expanded space for the District Clerk in the Annex.

Through the strategic implementation of adaptive re-use and renovation of current spaces, HDR’s design team created space for expansion in historic downtown New Braunfels without adding significant new square footage.

Comal County Landa Annex Courthouse
Comal County

New Braunfels, TX
United States

51,000 sf (4,740 m²)