Wisconsin Department of Justice Forensic Science and Protective Medicine Facility


Wisconsin Department of Justice


217,150 GSF


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Programming
  • Interior Architecture
  • Laboratory planning
  • MEP engineering
  • ICT Design

Following its relocation to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center’s (MRMC) campus, the Wisconsin Crime Lab will uphold its commitment to the Division of Forensic Sciences (DFS) mission, providing forensic analysis, training, and service to all 72 counties of the state. This will take place within the newly established Center for Forensic Science and Protective Medicine. Set to be an advanced facility, currently under development and construction by CD Smith, it will further support DFS’ aim of pursuing truth through science and driving the progression of forensic science. Sharing space with Milwaukee County’s Medical Examiner and the Office of Emergency Management, the integrated facility will accommodate various departments including DNA & CODIS, Toxicology, Latent Prints & AFIS, Firearms, Trace, Crime Scene Processing, and more.

Crime Lab staff frequently deal with cases that can be stressful and traumatic. An important piece of the lab’s existing building was a break area and kitchenette within double-height volume that was a collaboration and social support hub for the crime lab staff. This space therefore became an important part of their culture over the years. It was important to accommodate this cultural cornerstone in the new building, so a similar 2-story volume will be anchored within, providing a modern space for collaboration and commiseration.

The design of the laboratory and workspaces, led by CLD in association with HGA as the core and shell architect, prioritizes human-centered principles, focusing on well-being, accessibility, inclusion, sustainability, and safety. Through meticulous attention to human factors and ergonomics, the design aims to enhance user satisfaction and efficiency while mitigating potential health and performance issues in laboratory settings. Situated centrally within the MRMC campus, the new location facilitates collaboration with medical students, researchers, and staff, fostering a hub for health, science, and research opportunities. This collaborative environment is poised to drive discovery, innovation, and education in Wisconsin for years to come.