In 2016, Milwaukee County consolidated its Sheriff’s Department with the Department of Transportation’s Central Shop and Fleet Management & Highway Division. To achieve this consolidation, Continuum Architects was able to completely renovate the existing Central Shop to provide a more efficient layout of office space and add meeting and training rooms.
Exterior panels of the 16,800-square-foot expansion were carefully arranged to seamlessly wrap around the existing building. The panels create a sense of movement—a nod to its use by departments focused on transportation and action—and serve as a new face for the facility’s expanded functions. The prominent main entrance has two stories of glass to allow natural lighting in the shared lobby. The design also accommodates a highly-efficient, cost-effective Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) mechanical system that uses smaller units and taps into the boiler system. The main design challenge was to create a new brand for the Department of Transportation with an inviting space for the public, while maintaining the proper security necessary for the Sheriff’s Department.