Allston District Courthouse

The courthouse provides a rigid set of limitations with regard to circulation and security. Each user group operating in the building was required to circulate separately to prevent inadvertent encounters between those who convict and those who are convicted.  

A formal strategy was implemented which restricted the footprint of the building in order to allow the site to remain vast. This resulted in the placement of a substantially vertical figure into an equally substantial void as a means to reinforce the civic scale of the project.  

The courtroom too was approached from the outside-in. The internal development was focused on the degree to which the courtroom itself could be compressed. Upon reaching the limit of compression in plan, the courtroom and its support spaces (jury deliberation, judge’s chambers, etc.) became a vertically-stacked assembly. The project sought to answer plan requirements with sectional responses, utilizing the verticality of the building to unravel the complexity of the three discreet circulation sequences.