Robert Libke Public Safety Building

Oregon City, Oregon

How do we design an important civic building that honors the past while looking toward the future?

In 2018, FFA began designs for a public safety facility for Oregon City’s Police Department, City Commission chambers, municipal court and courts administration. The team conducted workshops with police and courts staff to understand specifically how they work together and how their facility would need to support operations and reflect the organization. FFA also led public engagement sessions to better understand residents’ views on their community and on their public safety agency. Through these exercises, the team identified three key themes: Community, Security and Wellness. With these in mind, the team also focused on systems that will maximize quality while minimizing labor time – a significant factor in construction costs. The team opted for a clean, one-story building massing with Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) bearing walls and roof that will be installed quickly and left exposed underneath to add warmth to the interior spaces. The simple rectangular massing is “carved” into in various places to create courtyards with protective views and access to natural light. The interior spaces are divided along security needs and organized around collaboration spaces that encourage staff interaction. A clerestory through the police areas highlights primary circulation and brings natural light deep into the interior of the building.

Year Completed:
2020 (estimated)
36,000 sf
Project Contact:
Ian Gelbrich, AIA, LEED AP
Partner, Market Lead
Visioning Workshop
Preliminary Concept Sketch
Proposed Courts Lobby
Proposed Records Office Space
Proposed Courtroom, Looking North
Proposed Public Plaza


As the oldest community in the State, Oregon City has significant layers of history which hold great importance to its long-time residents as well as the thousands of newcomers who have recently chosen to make their homes there. The design team worked closely with city staff and citizens to find ways to honor this history while at the same time looking forward to the community’s future as one of Oregon’s most vibrant, growing municipalities.

The new building will be named after Reserve Officer Robert Libke who was killed in the line of duty in 2013.  By spending time with Officer Libke’s widow and the Chief of Police, FFA was able to learn more about him and his life, informing our design.

Proposed Main Circulation Hallway with Clerestory Windows

Proposed Lobby Between Courts and Police