Potts said they had only one concept for the $10.8 million project, which opened nearly four years after the fire destroyed the old courthouse.
They used stone in the building because stone is used "a lot in the area," he said.
The yellow brick in the new courthouse resembles the yellow and orange bricks the former building had, as well as those seen in surrounding buildings.
Potts said they mimicked the 1924 cupola that the old courthouse had in the new structure.
The 47,000-square-foot building has two- and three-story levels on purpose, Potts said.
"We had this need to have a bigger building, but you also have this desire to step it down ... so it doesn't completely overpower every building around it," Potts said.
The courthouse has a traditional feel, he said.
It also has an abundance of natural light. The courtrooms are located within the building so they don't have any windows, but most of the offices are located on the perimeter of the building to provide those employees with more light.
Potts said there was a "dissenting group in the community" who think the building may be "too much," but courthouses are important to any town, he said.
"Even though this building is 100 years later by-and-large than a lot of the courthouses in the state, why should the county seat there be less of a building because we're 100 years later?"
In addition to the top honors Saturday, judges presented five merit awards:
• WYK Associates of Clarksburg won three merit awards for achievement in architecture. Two of the awards were for its design of the Gabor Folklife Center at Fairmont State University.
The $1.3 million, 6,900-square-foot facility serves as a classroom on the first floor and a "great room" on the second floor. The project was completed in September 2011.
WYK Associates removed a floor from the existing structure, which once served as Michael Kennedy's barn. In 1941, the original barn was converted into apartments and in 2006 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
WYK's third merit award was for an "un-built structure," the Shinnston Community Center.
The 17,500-square-foot building is scheduled to be completed in 2015 and will serve as a performing arts center, a 350-seat banquet hall, and a meeting and gathering space.
The building's architectures are using a solar design, locally sourced materials, and providing a minimal carbon footprint.
Sawmill blade-shaped semi-circular windows elaborate on the history of continuous mining. In the waiting area, reclaimed chairs from the previous building, the Rice Theater, were preserved and used.
• Edward Tucker Architects in Huntington won a merit award for their work on the Robert C. Byrd Rural Health and Clinical Education Center in Chapmanville. The facility is for the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and will house the Coalfield Health Center.
Jarrett Construction Services of Charleston completed the project in 2011.
• Silling Associates also picked up a merit award for designing the Raleigh County Judicial Center in Beckley.
The new center is located at the main intersection in downtown Beckley near the 1936 Raleigh County Courthouse and the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse.
The design includes a clock tower, a pedestrian walkway and a courthouse greenspace.
• McKinley Associates won the craftsmanship award for their stained glass window at the state government office building in Clarksburg.
The new office building is nearing completion and officials anticipate having a new building downtown will encourage others to revitalize. The stained glass window reflects the culture and history of the area.
The concept is to fabricate the window in the form of a "crazy" quilt using as much glass from West Virginia manufacturers as possible.
The focal point of the stained glass window, which was installed Feb. 13, is a West Virginia quilt star. The images surrounding the star refer to the courthouse that once stood in the town, a coal tipple, and arrowheads.Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.