Novato Civic Center City Administrative Office Building

Novato, California | civic & academic, interiors & workplace

A modern, sustainable office building for administrative staff harmonizes with a historic site and establishes a cohesive Civic Center.

The setting: An empty lot in Old Town adjacent to the historic City Hall provided the City of Novato an ideal site on which to consolidate its administrative staff.

The challenge: The City desired a modern office building that met LEED certification, but residents did not want a building that would look out of place next to the circa-1896 City Hall and Community House.

The solution: After leading a series of community workshops and listening to the concerns of stakeholders, RMW architecture & interiors designed a gracious, 23,000-square-foot, LEED Silver building that echoes its historic neighbors in aesthetic and architectural detail. Clapboard siding is painted the City’s signature red, and a slate roof was carefully matched to that of the City Hall. Underground parking minimizes the building’s mass.

The project has been a resounding success with City staff and citizens. As then-Mayor Pro Tem Eric Lucan said, “This building is a symbol of how we come together, agree and even disagree, but end with consensus.”

Quick Facts

The public lobby features a folding wall that opens onto the adjacent green.

Permeable paving allows the ground-level parking lot to be used as event space.

A time lapse video of the building’s construction can be viewed here.