Architecture Competition: Hall of Justice – District courthouse to assist local judiciary
The political persona of a society is reflected by the public buildings, and they become an important impression of its people. They have the capability to express the hopes, dreams, and goals of their people.
With time, there is a perceivable gap between the people and their civic institutions. There is cynicism about government, politics, and policies among citizens. This complex dynamic has rendered the public buildings as pain points for the community.
Civic buildings are built to serve the public. The construction of these institutions is done with the tax money, contributed by all citizens. They are built to ideally be approachable and accessible to every faction of society, from the rich to the poorest of citizens.
But these ideas of the government are often fogged by the complex play of politics. Government existence and strength are derived from the power it is given by the public. Even so, people are the ones who get undermined in this system, once authority takes control.
Courthouses are part of this political fabric that has served as a center of the law and government throughout history. Their role is more than being an icon of power, but rather in being a space that is of service to its people.
Brief: The challenge is to design a courthouse that represents qualities of a good democracy, for, of, and by its people.
A civic structure is extremely context-dependent and the design must reflect its connection with the region it is placed in. The courthouse as a typology is daunting due to its tense ambiance and functional qualities of the judiciary. But levity can be added to design with social spaces and greenery. Privacy and permeability must be guided consciously.
The intended aim of the design is to establish a healthy connection between the judicial system and public life. Functional aspects and the purpose of the courthouse must be uninhibited in any design. Security measures need to be incorporated in the design since the place will serve judges, convicts, jurors, victims, and law-abiding citizens.