Juvenile Courthouse

Study Model Phase III

Study Model Phase III

Study Model Phase I

Sallie Hambright Studio, Fall 2010

Formally, the courthouse takes on the appearance of a sculpted amalgam of pointed, elliptical volumes, providing the user with deep, canyon-like spaces in and around the structure. At certain times, specifically in the two masses that contain the courthouses, three separate volumes which house the vertical circulation coalesce into one volume. This conceptually emphasizes the need for disparate user groups to occupy the same building and still remain secure within their specified zones.

Aesthetically, in order to reduce the feeling of isolation and intimidation normally associated with a courthouse, light and color have been introduced in specific, strategic ways. Each volume has been imbued with warm tones of brown, orange, and red in order to give the forms a more naturalistic, organic feel. Light filters down from above through a mesh containing smaller-scale versions of the pointed ellipses, illuminating the curvilinear volumes and lessening the sensation of imposed authority.

Programmatically, this courthouse, in addition to the normal courtroom, jury, and defendant spaces, contains a variety of community spaces such as a Health Clinic, Child Care Center, and Child Advocacy Center. By allowing each volume to be relatively the same square footage, no one space dominates any other, reinforcing the need for this building to again both dually engage and serve the needs of the community.