Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office

Design vastly enhances critical-service function.

This remodel of and addition to an existing commercial building to house the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office produced a state-of-the-art facility that will allow the office to support the region’s growth for the next 50 years.

A second floor was added to the rear third of the 19,000-square-foot, single-story, partially reinforced brick-masonry structure.  The new facility has the capability to store up to 100 bodies and a provision to move two 40-foot self-contained cooler modules on-site for disaster preparedness.

Bernardo Wills Architects consulted with forensic-science architectural firm McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie, Inc. to program the space and ensure the new facility offers cutting-edge technology.  The result is a facility that not only enables the Medical Examiner’s Office to provide its essential services to more communities in the region but aids in recruiting additional staff.

Spaces housed in the building include:

  • three rooms with multiple tables for conducting autopsies
  • quiet spaces to record observations
  • a meeting room where families of the deceased can have a private discussion
  • a 700-square-foot drive-through enclosed sallyport for discreet transferring of bodies
  • specially designed spaces for collection and refuse pickup of hazardous materials, chemical waste, and soiled laundry
  • an X-ray suite with lead-shield walls that accommodates a Lodox full-body imaging machine

Bernardo Wills Architects also supplied interior design and landscape design services for this project.


  • Client: Spokane County
  • Location: Spokane, Washington
  • Size: 24,000 square feet
  • Completed: 2020

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