California’s State Capitol Complex is comprised of two sections, the original (1860-1874) west wing, rebuilt for earthquake safety and brought up to modern fire safety codes (1975-1982) and the attached State Capitol Building Annex (1949-1952) which adjoins the historic wing on its east side. Together, these two structures comprise California’s “People’s House.”
California's 65-year old Annex, which is home to the Governor and 115 of California’s 120 lawmakers, and key legislative professional support offices, is among the state’s most-visited public buildings. In 2016, it had almost 2 million visitors, including tens of thousands of grade school children.
As an aging building with failing systems built before the invention of a myriad of modern technologies, it presents the California State Senate and Assembly with the question of how to replace it with the best-adapted building we can imagine.
A People’s House should help its occupants perform their Constitutional duties. Aging as it is, the design attributes of our annex accord with Winston Churchill’s great observation about architecture, that:
“We shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us.” -Winston Churchill
This web page is designed to provide public access to relevant background work, research, and fact-finding which have been ongoing in preparation for the more formal engagement of design professionals and other experts who will assist in this project’s analysis, exploration of available options, eventual definition, and practical planning.
Read more about:
“An Architectural Program for California’s Capitol”