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The Mat King Makes Mats for Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County Civic Center Building

Photograph by Karl H. Reik, originally published in the Civic Center Dedication Brochure, 1962.

Here is where The Mat King comes into the picture:

Vinyl Link Entrance Mats for the Marin County Civic Center fabricated by The Mat King, December 2005 (prototype). Vinyl Link Mats are made, depending on the size of the mat, from hundreds if not thousands of vinyl links held together with galvanized steel wire. To produce a circular-shaped Vinyl Link Mat means taking a basically square technology and adapting its components to a curvilinear orientation, which requires the sculpting talents of an artist to carefully trim and manipulate the extruded vinyl edges and rectangular shaped links into just the right shapes so they will conform to the circular shape of the well that will hold each mat. Every entrance door of the Marin County Civic Center gets a mat section in front; i.e. outside, and in back; i.e. inside. From door-to-door, the sections range from almost exactly the same on both sides of the door to radically different on each side of the door. They have a simple elegance about them, but, though they may appear simple, they are anything but simple to make.

The following is General Information as described on the County of Marin website. Click HERE to see more.

The Marin Civic Center Administration and Hall of Justice building dramatically illustrates the kinship of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture to the surrounding landscape. The long, horizontal building gracefully links the crowns of three seperate hills.

Materials throughout the Civic Center are simple; floors are custom- colored compostion tile, walkways and stairs are terrazzo and partitions are sheetrock.The barrel arch roof is of pre-cast concrete, in a blue color that blends with the sky and the walls are sand beige. Basic construction is pre-cast, pre-stressed floor systems with combined steel and concrete vertical supports. Exterior balconies and interior walkways are cantileavered over the support posts. Decorative arches are cement stucco on metal laths. The structure is highly segmented in order to accommodate expansion of building elements and to lessen the effects of earthquakes.

Many features now considered commonplace were first used by Wright in these buildings.
The atriums run down the center of each building and they widen as they rise from the ground floor level to the top to create an illusion of upward spiralling ramps. Elevators and stairs link one floor to another. Atrium planting provides occupants with the pleasing prospects of either looking inward to the planter, sky-lit malls or outward to green trees and hills.

The building complex abounds with detail. Elaborate grillworks, accents and appliques all
follow the "flow of pattern" carefully orchestrated by Wright. Glass and panel partitions seperate the walkways around the atrium from the offices to create an airy, spacious effect. Art exhibitions placed in various areas further contribute to the aesthetic harmony of the interior. Central architectural focus for the building is the 80-foot diameter dome with it's 172-foot, slender, gold tower.

The tower encases a smokestack from the heating boiler.ADMINISTRATION- The four story Administration wing, completed in 1962, is 584 feet long. Office bays are 26 feet wide on one side and 40 feet on the other. The structure houses the County's administrative, financial and community service departments, as well as the Marin County Administration office, the Anne T. Kent California History Room, and the Library's Civic Center Branch. All office spaces in the Adminstration building haveat least one source of natural light, either from outside surface windows or from the skylights of the mall.HALL OF JUSTICE- The Hall of Justice, completed in 1969, is 880 feet long and the bays of both sides of the building are over 40 feet wide. Unique concepts for courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers and general judicial space are incorporated into its design.

The building houses the courts, Public Defender, District Attorney, County Clerk, Sheriff, and Health and Human Services. Aaron Green, FAIA, suggested the concept and site for the underground county jail, completed in 1994, to complement Wright's original building design.

  Marin County Civic Center - Exterior Entry Arch - Administrative Wing
  Marin County Civic Center - Interior, Upper Floor Marin County Civic Center - Interior
  Marin County Civic Center Hall of Justice, Spire, and Library Dome


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