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Generative Iconography Burnett County District Courthouse Integrated Studio - Spring 2017 Designed by: Pat Griffin & Wes Seaba Instructed by: John Trefry


Work Compiled Duirng Spirng Semseter 2017

Patrick Griffin & Wes Seaba

Instructed by John Trefry


table of contents 00 Introduction 01 Values 02 Preliminary-Concepts 03 Schematic Design 04 Design Development 05 Final Design


Introduction

Architecture is Dumb. I have spent the last four years learning one thing - architecture is dumb. This is not to say that it is ‘intellectually easy’ or not academically rigorous, but it is a commentary on the state of the built environment. The walls, floors, surfaces that frame out our inhabitable spaces do not change based on a user’s mood or feeling; a building is static material, blocks in space. In much the same way, unless there is a plaque present on a wall or outside a building, it is often impossible for the average inhabitant of a space to interpret the architect’s expressive intent, or assess a space for anything other than its ability to evoke experiential qualities. A building does not tell one ‘what to think’ but it can effect ‘how one thinks’ while they are within the space. It is perhaps for these reasons why, when we read Complexity and Contradiction by Robert Venturi it was so impactful. Venturi proposes that because of architecture’s dumb nature, it is up to designers to populate a space with artifacts that offer moments of thought provoking complexity to enhance a user’s experience. Furthermore, upon consideration of Umberto Erico’s The Open Work, this complexity and room for fluid interpretation opens an object up to a longer and more meaningful life of ‘unfinished’ emotional expression. In this way a building can change with a people, rather than isolating a group’s intention at a moment in time.


It is this understanding of ‘dumb’ architecture and ‘open work’ that influenced the character and intention behind how the design of our courthouse would attempt to function. The course began by deigning a sculpture that would represent the justice system. From here we would extract artifacts of geometry to be used in our preliminary concepts. We were not allowed to focus on architecture as precedents but rather were tasked with looking a geologic formations for inspiration. Our second major task came in the form of rectifying these underlying principles and geometry in formal qualities that respected gravity and other natural forces. At the same time, the issues of program and circulation began to present themselves. We would not yet have a building, but it would be close. The third milestone represented a functioning program within the context of the site, and an understanding of the emotional qualities entailed by the form and organization therein. Materiality and transparency questions were asked during this period. The final phases of design development blurred together though, for our project, the schemes were very different. Here we would answer questions of structure, accessibility, systems, and other minutia inherent to designing a building.


Values


Values

Rhetoric of Light, Circulation, & Form One of the more challenging aspects of the studio derived from the approach to precedents and inspiration. Rather than researching several different courthouses by famous architects and emulating their characteristics or treatments to the emotional procession through spaces, the studio instead looked to natural formations as a way of reducing the amount that was “indirectly copied” from famous buildings. Students received presentations on other buildings by famous architects of the same typology, however, it was asked that what students designed would be completely different from the notable buildings described. With this context, students were tasked with deriving rhetorics of light, circulation, and form from a cloud formation, areal view, and landscape feature. For Wes and I, we sought to emulate the characteristics of a city scape on the bay in the form of our areal view, which in this case was emblematic of our rhetoric of circulation. We attempted to have the same layering or gradient of transparency present in the light conditions found in fog as a way of describing the privacy within the spaces. Ultimately, and most importantly, we looked to the geologic formation for a basalt causeway as being symbolic of the aggregation or multiplicity of ideas present within the judicial system. It was this identity of “part to whole” that truly brought about the creative process the rest of the studio would be subject to. Rather than the completely monolithic formal qualities of traditional courthouses, our goal was to demonstrate the individuals contribution and the history of change present within the system.


Circulation - Areal View

Light - Cloud Formation

Form - Landcape Feature

There are moments where acceptance and empathy are essential to the function of the space (freedom), while there are others where self-reflection and scorn are important elements in the relationship between people and how they can learn from mistakes (seclusion). Fundamentally, it is important to understand how circulation in the sensitive spaces where privacy is necessary relates to those that need to engage the entire community.

The lighting of this building should serve as a metaphor for an idealized version of the justice system; one that is clear and translucent when appropriate and opaque when necessary. It should illustrate the layers involved in the program while also the function of the spaces encapsulated within. The lighting should further develop the idea that legislation is a product of the community, and thus the community is the source of justice; reinforcing the idea that the law is a secular thing, not something subject to and individuals beliefs or ideologies.

Architecturally, the form of this building should reinforce the ideas of confidence and strength in the institution it represents. This form should emulate feelings of protection, fortitude, structure and complexity – this is not to say that it should be exclusive or imposing. Instead, it should evoke inclusivity and acceptance through its monumentality and structure. While it is important that the institution feel complete, we should be reminded that this is an ever evolving and continually improving system.


Additive & Subtractive Aggregation From our images and conceptualization, it was evident than evoking the idea of a ‘system in change’ would be the most difficult, perhaps also the most provocative, form of expression within the space. In order for this to be achieved, however, identities or geometry would need to be assigned to the concept of “part” and in turn “the whole” as well. For these things to be identifiably similar and discernible as a quantum relative to the macro scale, we turned to primitive and basic geometric forms. The cube was an ideal candidate for representing a part of a larger object due to the clarity of subdivision a larger cube could be subject to. In order to contrast with the rectilinear nature of the cube, spherical (or curvilinear) geometry was chosen to represent the antithesis of the sub-divisional cube. In the end, it was our intention that the additive cubic aggregation would serve symbolically as the representative geometry of a bureaucratic judicial system, and the additive (or subtractive) spherical aggregation would represent the state of that system in positive (or negative) change. Whatever our intention may have been, it was also understood that a user would derive their own meaning from the geometries and understand some sort of relationship regardless of our conceptualization; in essence, the form needed to provoke thought without out-right telling one what to think. As a sculpture, we filled many of the subtractive curvilinear spaces with icons for the justice system: a human, the statue of liberty, a flipped car, a gun, a heart, and a brain (among other things) to give slightly more context for the geometries in space. From here we would extract artifacts (present on the next page) as a means of ‘mining” the newly formed sculpture for architectural inspiration.


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12008_Contour-Horizontal-0°


12005_Contour-Oblique-45°

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15003_Contour-Oblique-30°

16004_Contour-Oblique-30°

17005_Contour-Oblique-30°

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23006_Contour-Oblique-45°

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Preliminary Concepts


Preliminary Concepts

maintaining expresion while dealing with forces... very tricky. Whereas the initial value system could be regarded as totally abstract and without constraints, the preliminary concept phase sought to rectify problems of program and gravity given the identity of the first milestone. The sculpture could have been anything, a satellite or cancer, but now we needed to make it a building. This is not to say that the state of things immediately coagulated into a courthouse; this is not the case. This phase of the project was only about finding life in the system of expression identified in the last segment as a way of articulating a building. Initially, we began to question the ‘gridded’ or orthogonal nature of the cubes as a way of understanding the inherent order present within. Rather than growing the cubic geometry in a fractal pattern as the previous exercise had entailed, a more chaotic approach to the volumetric and spacial qualities was maintained. The cubes were ‘scrambled’ and dispersed across a surface with respect the forces of attraction between larger masses to make up a singular mass that could represent the courthouse. Within this mass, a self-populating spherical system was subtracted from moments of prominence to represent where the public could inter-phase with the form. These spaces were intended to evoke the idea of an entrance, or separateness, from the multiplicity of monolithic rectilinear geometries. Ultimately, we would reject this scheme outright; the nature of order present in the initial value system seemed necessary to the experiential qualities necessary in a courthouse. More than this, the chaotic nature of the cubes did not lend themselves to proper programming or an efficient use of space. We did, however use artifacts from the previous project as a means of proportionally describing the program as a visual map and scaled image.


Sheriff / Secure 7196.1 sqft Sheriff / Secure 7196.1 sqft

Probation 3754 sqft Probation 3754 sqft

Basement - 11,019.75 sqft

Basement - 11,019.75 sqft

District Attorney 2911.6 sqft District Attorney 2911.6 sqft District Courtroom - 7961.9 sqft

District Courtroom - 7961.9 sqft

L2 - 12,019.75 sqft

L2 - 12,019.75 sqft


Additional 1359 sqft

519 sqft der Public Defen 519 sqft der Public Defen

Jury Assembly Jury -Assembly 3175 sqft- 3175 sqft

Additional 1359 sqft

County Clerk 3588 sqft County Clerk 3588 sqft Public - 2880 sqft

Public - 2880 sqft

L1 - 8,519.75 sqft

L1 - 8,519.75 sqft

Pretrial Services - 2869 sqft

Pretrial Services - 2869 sqft

Magistrate Courtroom 6371 sqft Magistrate Courtroom 6371 sqft

Magistrate Courtroom 6371 sqft Magistrate Courtroom 6371 sqft L3 - 15,611 sqft

L3 - 15,611 sqft


Schematic Design


Schematic Design

Not a situation of ‘either, or’ but rather one of ‘both, and’ Moving into the more practical and functional aspects of a courthouse, it became evident that our geometric systems were not powerful without the presence of both intersecting in multiple places. Rather than experiencing curvilinear or spherical geometry at one juncture within the program and cubic at another, it became important that throughout the precession both were present to continually draw contrast between one and the other. In this way, it made no sense for the spherical subtractions to be the entrance, but rather an entire mass intersecting with the rectilinear whole. It was also at this point where it became apparent that ‘cubic’ or ‘spherical’ could be entirely replaced with the terms ‘rectilinear’ and ‘curvilinear’ as a way of denoting the unimportance of purity. When one stands within a rectilinear space, it would be relatively difficult through solely visual means, to identify a space as square or cubic rather than a similar permutation. Similarly, a spherical subtraction or addition (while more noticeably impure) could be replaced with the idea of an undulating or curved face. These two things together would draw the same contrasts without the unnecessary obligations or limitations of complete formal purity. Additionally, considerations were made about how the interior spaces would be organized; or what the would be organized around. It became important, given the volume present, to be able to get natural light all the way down to the lowest floor. In order for this to be achieved, an atrium was added, specifically designed around the constraints present to get light into the lowest level between the hours of 11:00am and 1:00pm during every day of the year. This conceit, along with our goal of leaving much of the site open for local interaction, pushed the building upwards into the air.


Interestingly, the constraint of additive cubism gave license to a level of control over the program unseen in many other projects; we were able to push and pull on the masses to create whatever space necessary in order to improve the function without any negative impacts on the form or expression of the building. Furthermore, with the addition of an intersecting spherically subtractive skin, it was understood that parts of program could function as independent pavilions within the building, with atrium and circulatory space independent in between these spaces. In essence the building could be a set of stacked blocks around a negative space, and wherever the boundary made sense, it could be drawn. Such levels of freedom were unknown to Wes and I, but it truly gave room to do whatever became necessary to make interior spaces function properly. Truly, the form of this building was determined the interior requirements for space and experience rather than whatever gestural moves seemed to make sense from the outside. This was only possible due to the aggregative geometric principles that were determined as important from the start.


North Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

East Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

South Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

West Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)


W Public WC 227 SF

Holding Cell

Holding Cell

110 SF

110 SF

Sally Port 374 SF

Secure Soundlock

M Public WC

Housekeeping Closet

155 SF

227 SF

50 SF

Attorney Conference Mech. Chase

153 SF

81 SF

Magistrate Courtroom

Electrical Closet

Data Closet

20 SF

20 SF

Sound Lock 83 SF

1261 SF

Open Work Areas Records Storage

203 SF

257 SF

Cashier Room 62 SF

Staff W WC 64 SF

Public Lobby

AV / Storage

Sound Lock

Closet

91 SF

63 SF

44 SF

229 SF

Staff M WC

Shared Work Room

64 SF

205 SF

Jury Room

Judge's WC

287 SF

50 SF

Closet

Reception

11 SF

117 SF

Staff Lounge / Conference 252 SF

W WC

M WC

120 SF

120 SF

Administrator Office 170 SF

Shared Work Area 166 SF

Judge's Office / Conference 481 SF

Administrator Office 170 SF

Manager's Office 205 SF

L2 (+ 15’ - 0”) (1/32” = 1’-0”) For us, schematic design was predominantly about organizing the program (and nothing else); this would be the work that we would take forward into design development. Interestingly, the building was successfully designed to circulate all of the judges to their chambers and jury spaces with only one elevator. Similarly, all of the secure and sheriff circulation was completed with only one elevator. With courtrooms around more than half of the building’s perimeter, it was surprising to find that this could happen without elevators in the very center of the building.


Security Command

Court Security Officer

194 SF

152 SF

Storage / Workroom 152 SF

Deputy Office

Deputy Office

117 SF

117 SF

Mechanical Room 2762 SF

Vehicle Sallyport 1382 SF

Firearm Vault 101 SF

Weapons Dumbwaiter Attorney Interview Room

23 SF

78 SF

Prisoner Processing 205 SF

Staff WC 78 SF

Attorney Interview Room

Records Storage 208 SF

Storage and Workroom

78 SF

152 SF

B1 (-15’-0”) (1/64” = 1’-0”)

Electrical Closet

Data Closet

20 SF

20 SF

Holding Cell

Holding Cell

Holding Cell

Holding Cell

Holding Cell

Public Lobby

113 SF

113 SF

113 SF

113 SF

116 SF

157 SF

Officer Office

Reception 106 SF

164 SF

Firearm Vault 96 SF

Housekeeping Closet 134 SF

Officer Office 164 SF

Pretrial Officer Office

Officer in Charge Office

145 SF

225 SF

Pretrial Officer Office

Staff W WC 84 SF

152 SF

Firearm Vault

Staff M WC

94 SF

84 SF

Staff Lounge / Conference

Urinalysis Toilet

Urinalysis Lab

76 SF

153 SF

Staff M WC 59 SF

Staff W WC

Public Lobby

211 SF

103 SF

Urinalysis Lab 128 SF

69 SF

Urinalysis Toilet

197 SF

Manager's Office

Open Work Areas

208 SF

M Public WC

W Public WC

Public Lobby

237 SF

237 SF

306 SF

Reception Work Area

174 SF

File Room 153 SF

138 SF

Storage 134 SF

Jury Assembly Room 1216 SF

Jury Vending

W Public WC

106 SF

241 SF

Jury Check-In 183 SF

Housekeeping Closet

Jury M WC

Jury W WC

227 SF

M Public WC

75 SF

212 SF

227 SF

Clerk's Station 59 SF

Mech. Chase 81 SF

L1 (+/- 0’-0”) (1/64” = 1’-0”)

Electrical Closet

Data Closet

20 SF

20 SF

Additional Program 1014 SF

Judge / Jury Lounge 723 SF

Security Station

District Courtroom 1625 SF

Jury Room

Sound Lock

247 SF

50 SF

Closet

M WC

99 SF

99 SF

105 SF

W WC

Secure Soundlock

37 SF

W Public WC 212 SF

Judge's WC

Judge's Office / Conference

47 SF

547 SF

Law Clerk

Sally Port

143 SF

127 SF

AV / Storage

Sound Lock

94 SF

68 SF

Attorney Conference 145 SF

Closet

Holding Cell

Holding Cell

106 SF

106 SF

M Public WC

14 SF

241 SF

Mech. Chase 81 SF

Reception 162 SF

L3 (+ 30’ - 0”) (1/64” = 1’-0”)

Electrical Closet

Data Closet

20 SF

20 SF

Shared Work Area 239 SF

Records Storage

Paralegal

194 SF

156 SF

Housekeeping Closet 43 SF

Computer Tel / Data 94 SF

Paralegal 148 SF

Reception 204 SF

Assistant DA 195 SF

Assistant DA 195 SF

Trial Prep Conf. Room

DA 289 SF

345 SF

W Public WC 241 SF

Housekeeping Closet 94 SF

M Public WC

Holding Cell

212 SF

105 SF

Mech. Chase 81 SF

L4 (+ 45’- 0”) (1/64” = 1’-0”)

Sally Port Electrical Closet

Data Closet

20 SF

20 SF

110 SF

Holding Cell 106 SF

Secure Soundlock 62 SF

Attorney Conference 134 SF

Sound Lock

Magistrate Courtroom

87 SF

1261 SF

AV / Storage 110 SF

Reception

Judge's WC

176 SF

101 SF

W WC 98 SF

Judge's Closet 25 SF

Closet 43 SF

Shared Work Area 212 SF

M WC 109 SF

Judge's Office / Conference 420 SF

Jury Room 229 SF

Soundlock 50 SF


The way this was made possible was through frosted-glass catwalks extruded across the atrium of the building, bridging the space between courtrooms and circulatory elements. If the secure elevator was on the other side of the building, it was appropriate to extrude a glass form from it over to the other side. Curiously, this treatment gave the people in the secure program the same experience as staff members whenever present within a hallway. This is because (in its most fundamental form) the secure and sheriff program constraints are almost exactly the same as the staff and justice circulation constraints, other than how they enter the building. It was this acknowledgment and sensitivity that gave the building a more human respect for those being processed by the judicial system. Those in the secure program would be treated (from the public perspective) in the same fashion as the staff, therefore blurring the line between which glass extrusion transported who into different parts of the building. There would be no identities or history, just shaded figures walking behind frosted glass from one mass to another.


Design Development


Design Development

student: “we cut back the cantileever because, structure.” teacher: “...cowards” It would be at this point in the project where Wes and I would pay (dearly) for the decisions we made early on. Whereas the programming was made easy by the additive rectilinear massing that allowed for a freedom of extrusion, it would be structuring and detailing out these formal qualities that would cost us in the end. It was our hope from the beginning that the rectilinear nature of the programed mass would make thing easier to detail, and in many ways it did, but in the end we still had an intersecting spherical skin that needed to be re-thought if it was going to work (or at least more developed). From this vantage point, it was clear that three distinct things needed to happen: the first being a re-development of the skin, the second being a dramatic change in how the public circulation system worked within the building, and a third being an overall smaller presence of the building on site by subtracting more than 15% from each orthogonal dimension. The first of these things would be the most noticeable but perhaps was the most simple. The skin, in many ways, was independent of the program that sat below it. This is not to say that the skin was free-form, but rather was a result of the organization of the program (we sequestered space where it felt necessary). In this way, the second two problems could take place before the first ever needed to happen. The second two problems, however, were intrinsically intertwined, creating a behemoth of a situation.


When placed on the site, the building was much too big. In places it cantilevered over the sidewalk, the highest point was too tall, and overall it felt too massive for the site or context it was a part of. The project, as designed, outright rejected the context it was a part of and was emblematic of an idealized justice system, but it did take it into account and for this reason should not have been a skyscraper or any other permutation of form that dimensionally did not fit well around other buildings. Obviously ours did not attempt to replicate vernacular architecture of the area, but the proportion and scale of volumes did push to find a home there. It was for this reason that when we put our existing floor-plans into a model of the site, the building we had been designing was way too large. Rather than having dimensions of 180’x180’ on a 200’x200’ site, we desired something closer to 150’x150’ or smaller. This reconfiguration necessitated a shifting of internal program and a dramatic redesign or reconsideration of the atrium the mass had been designed around.


1

North Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

North 1/16" = 1'-0"

1

East Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

East 1/16" = 1'-0"

South Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”) 1

1

South 1/16" = 1'-0"

West Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

West 1/16" = 1'-0"


Room Legend

W Public WC 217 SF

Mech. Chase 71 SF

M Public WC 228 SF

Sallyport 269 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Room Legend

Elec. Closet 28 SF

Housekeeping CL 81 SF

Secure Catwalk 178 SF

Public Private

SL 98 SF

Magistrate Courtroom 1321 SF

Secure SL 51 SF

Attorney Conference 162 SF

Sallyport 214 SF

Private Secure

Holding Cell 135 SF

Holding Cell 130 SF

Public

Secure

Mech. Chase 109 SF

UP

Staff Lounge / Conference 313 SF Records Storage 200 SF

AV / Storage 104 SF SL 50 SF

Cashier Room 59 SF

Staff W WC 63 SF

Jury Room 215 SF Closet 49 SF

Open Work Areas 239 SF

Staff M WC 63 SF

W WC 126 SF

Public Lobby 219 SF

M WC 115 SF

Judge's WC 68 SF

Administrator Office 172 SF

Shared WA 154 SF

Judge's Closet 13 SF

Reception 105 SF

Manager's Office 192 SF

Administrator Office 165 SF

Judge's Office / Conference 398 SF

L2 (+ 15’ - 0”) (1/32” = 1’-0”) The floor-plans were all reconfigured to allow for a rectilinear space in the center that extruded all the way to the top and bottom of the building. This space would be home to the circulatory ‘scaffolding’ that would move the public around the interior of the building. Rather than expressing this new element in the same material as the staff program, we were not given the opportunity to make a totally public circulatory element with a distinctly different character than anything else within the building. More than this, it meant that the two forms could be independent of each-other, with reveals and gaps where it was not completely necessary for them to be touching.

Shared WR 210 SF


Data Closet 28 SF

Housekeeping CL 82 SF

Elec. Closet 28 SF

Public Mechanical Room 4137 SF

Private

Firearm Vault 128 SF

Secure

Weapons DW 27 SF Secure SL 30 SF

Sallyport 141 SF

Isolated Holding Cell 123 SF

Prisoner Processing 201 SF

Holding Cell 121 SF Staff WC 93 SF

Holding Cell 125 SF

Holding Cell 121 SF

Holding Cell 121 SF

Attorney Interview 77 SF

Attorney Interview 77 SF

Storage / WR 243 SF Reception 106 SF

Room Legend

M Staff WC 102 SF

Security Command 201 SF

M Public WC 234 SF

W Staff WC 100 SF

Public Lobby 150 SF Court Security Officer 132 SF

Elec. Closet 28 SF

Housekeeping CL 82 SF

Mechanical Room 4137 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Public Private

Firearm Vault 128 SF

Urinalysis Toilet 60 SF Public Lobby 206 SF Pretrial Officer 164 SF

Sallyport 141 SF Prisoner Processing 201 SF Officer In Charge 205 SF

Holding Cell 121 SF Staff WC 93 SF

Holding Cell 125 SF

B1 (-15’-0”) (1/00” = 1’-0”)

Holding Cell 121 SF

1

Level 0 1/16" = 1'-0"

Attorney Interview 77 SF

Holding Cell 121 SF

Attorney Interview 77 SF

Storage / WR 243 SF Reception 106 SF

M Staff WC 102 SF

W Staff WC 100 SF

Public Lobby 150 SF

Deputy Office 120 SF

Court Security Officer 132 SF

Deputy Office 120 SF

Officer Office 159 SF

Officer Office 156 SF

Firearm Vault 90 SF

M Staff WC 54 SF

Pretrial Officer 161 SF Urinalysis Toilet 60 SF

Officer In Charge 205 SF

1

Urinalysis Lab 125 SF

Urinalysis Toilet 72 SF

Public Lobby 206 SF

Staff Lounge / Conf. 224 SF

Urinalysis Lab 111 SF

Firearm Vault 81 SF

Reception Work Area 240 SF

W Staff WC 54 SF

Storage / WR 147 SF

Public Lobby 206 SF Pretrial Officer 164 SF

Manager's Office 218 SF

Records Storage 160 SF

Open Work Areas 285 SF

File Room 155 SF

Level 0 1/16" = 1'-0"

Room Legend Jury Service / Vending 156 SF

Private

Storage 88 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Clerk's Station 91 SF

Jury Check-In 109 SF

Secure

Elec. Closet 28 SF

Housekeeping CL 82 SF

Jury Assembly Room 1104 SF

Public

Mech. Chase 71 SF

Weapons DW 27 SF

Jury M WC 221 SF Mech. Chase 109 SF

L1 (+/- 0’-0”) (1/100” = 1’-0”)

Vehicle Sallyport 1568 SF

Mail Room / Delivery Screening 263 SF

Jury W WC 220 SF

Loading and Service 593 SF

Judge's Lounge 547 SF

M Public WC 283 SF

W Public WC 261 SF

Security Pavilion 185 SF

Jury Room 256 SF

Judge's Office / Conference 563 SF

Closet 40 SF

SL 47 SF

W Public WC 249 SF Secure SL 58 SF

Law Clerk 169 SF

W WC 94 SF

Holding Cell 130 SF

Judge's Closet 10 SF

Mech. Chase 60 SF

District Courtroom 1660 SF M WC 92 SF

Judge's WC 65 SF Sallyport 277 SF

Shared WA 258 SF

Holding Cell 110 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Attorney Conference 140 SF

Elec. Closet 28 SF

M Public WC 243 SF SL 117 SF

Housekeeping CL 81 SF

AV / Storage 121 SF

Reception 164 SF

Room 3058 SF

L3 (+ 30’ - 0”) (1/100” = 1’-0”)

Mech. Chase 109 SF

Room Legend

Records Storage 198 SF

Public

Paralegal 164 SF

UP Paralegal 144 SF

Private

Assistant DA 180 SF

Secure

Computer Tel / Data 109 SF

Assistant DA 157 SF

DA 276 SF

Reception 260 SF

Trial Prep Conf 440 SF

1

Level 3 1/16" = 1'-0"

Room Legend Public Private Secure M Public WC 263 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Housekeeping CL 82 SF

L4 (+ 45’- 0”) (1/00” = 1’-0”)

Elec. Closet 28 SF

W Public WC 288 SF

Sallyport 124 SF

Holding Cell 114 SF

Holding Cell 133 SF Secure SL 105 SF

Magistrate Courtroom 1321 SF

Attorney Conf. 149 SF

SL 98 SF

Reception 153 SF

AV / Storage 109 SF

Private Catwalk 175 SF

Judge's WC 73 SF

Shared WA 178 SF Judge's Closet 10 SF

Judge's Office / Conference 466 SF

1

Level 4 1/16" = 1'-0"

W WC 121 SF

M WC 109 SF

Closet 41 SF

Jury Room 307 SF

SL 49 SF

M Staff WC 54 SF

Pretrial Officer 161 SF

Secure

Weapons DW 27 SF Secure SL 30 SF

Isolated Holding Cell 123 SF

Deputy Office 120 SF

Deputy Office 120 SF

Officer Office 159 SF

Officer Office 156 SF

Firearm Vault 90 SF

Public Lobby 206 SF

Urinalysis Lab 111 SF

Firearm Vault 81 SF

Reception Work Area 240 SF

File Room 155 SF

Open Work Areas 285 SF

Urinalysis Toilet 72 SF

W Staff WC 54 SF

Urinalysis Lab 125 SF

Staff Lounge / Conf. 224 SF Storage / WR 147 SF

W Public WC 234 SF

Records Storage 160 SF

Manager's Office 218 SF


We ultimately decided to express this circulatory element with the characteristics of mass timber. This was mean to be warm in contrast to the concrete and aggregated cubic surfaces that would exist everywhere else. Furthermore, with populated surfaces on every part of the building, the atrium space took an opportunity to shear off these articulating elements and reduce them down to four inches of push or pull from the surface of the wall they were added to. This made the mass timber system seem much more powerful in the systems of form rather than perhaps as a secondary element, which it could have been viewed as if it maneuvered around the articulation rather than controlling it. On a deeper level, the wood represented anywhere that the public had an opportunity to go, indirectly accenting the security levels of the building through material. For example, when the scaffolding bridged across the reveal and connected with the courtroom door, the mass timber floor slab continued into the courtroom up until the wall where the public had to stay behind as a viewer of the proceedings. Overhead, the exposed wooden glulams would stay prominent until the same juncture, where they would abruptly stop revealing a frosted glass ceiling above a pure concrete courtroom. It was this rhetoric of form and material that gave way to the final iteration of the building, and a stronger understanding of the intricate emotional procession inherent to the layout of interior spaces.


Final Design


Final Design

Revamp the building with 2 weeks left... Phase four had delivered challenges and opportunities for further expression within the articulation of material, geometry, light and other accents within the building, but had not fully realized the challenges of comprehensive studio: to find order in structure, mep, and egress within and expressive design. With two weeks left before the final presentation, these were the considerations present, along with detailing, graphics, representation, and once again deciding how the skin should work on the surface of the building. While many of these things had been discussed over the course of the semester, we had yet to put them into the revit model, or find a way to properly express them. Given the nature of the building and its design process, it would also not exactly be easy to develop a narrative to describe the design to an audience, so this was also under heavy consideration. The first portion of the design to be finalized was the skin, which had been in flux since the form of geometric expression made its way into being a building. Initially we had vied for a subtractive spherical skin to contrast the additive cubic form on the exterior; this result was initially viewed as too imposing in the lightly urban landscape, and was dispatched for a more forgiving approach. It was this thinking that resulted in the additive spherical skin as seen in the design development iteration. In order for the skin to be applied, however, much more space was enclosed than necessary. It was this that forced us to result to the final methodology of devising our building envelope.


While much of this narrative has so far refrained from mentioning ‘parametric’ it is at this point where it becomes impossible to avoid. The final skin for the building was devised using a physics simulation allowing for the placing of points and the stretching of the skin in between those points with respect to gravity (much like a tent.) From here the pointy parts of the tensile surface were smoothed over and truncated to return to the once again forgiving aesthetic of a spherical or rounded surface. After this, the structural system for such a surface needed to be re-devised. Originally this had been a system of intersecting geodesic domes with curved glulam beams at the intersection; however the new form required a new response. Rather than imposing a grid across our curve-linear geometry, we responded with a system of voronoi-cell perimeter beams. In mathematics, a Voronoi diagram is a partitioning of a plane into regions based on distance to points in a specific subset of the plane. That set of points (called seeds, sites, or generators) is specified beforehand, and for each seed there is a corresponding region consisting of all points closer to that seed than to any other. These regions are called Voronoi cells. The subsections of these cells were then populated into their own voronoi structures. This structure was especially challenging due to the fact that the voronoi definition is derived from flat planes, and needed to be applied to a complex curved surface; in order for this to work, a complex algorithm had to be derived.


North Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

East Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

South Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)

West Elevation (1/64” = 1’-0”)


On the interior, the aesthetic continued to develop well into the final phase. Water was given a space on the basement floor due to its soothing auditory experience and the qualities of erosion it brings to nature. These qualities can be seen as the symbolic child of the subtractive or changing nature we intended to present users from the conceptual phase. Cubes, similar to what populated the walls of the atrium, were designed into the water to give the effect of erosion a more visible presence. These once again corresponded to an aggregated mass in the center of the building & atrium demonstrating what could be seen as our aesthetic interpretation of a Greek order column; a common icon of the judicial system.


Basement Plans (- 15’. 0”) (1/32” = 1’-0”)

Security Command 201 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Housekeeping CL 82 SF

M Public WC 274 SF

Elec. Closet 28 SF

W Public WC 274 SF

Mechanical Room 4217 SF

Firearm Vault 128 SF Weapons DW 27 SF

Secure SL 30 SF

Sallyport 141 SF Prisoner Processing 201 SF

Isolated Holding Cell 123 SF

Holding Cell 121 SF Staff WC 93 SF

Holding Cell 125 SF

Holding Cell 121 SF

Holding Cell 121 SF

Attorney Interview 77 SF

Attorney Interview 77 SF

Storage / WR 243 SF Reception 106 SF

M Staff WC 102 SF

W Staff WC 100 SF

Public Lobby 150 SF Court Security Officer 132 SF

Deputy Office 120 SF

Deputy Office 120 SF

Officer Office 159 SF

Officer Office 156 SF

Firearm Vault 90 SF

Pretrial Officer 150 SF

M Staff WC 59 SF

Pretrial Officer 153 SF

Officer In Charge 193 SF

Public Lobby 206 SF

Urinalysis Lab 111 SF

Firearm Vault 81 SF

Basement Structure Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”

Reception Work Area 241 SF

File Room 156 SF

W Staff WC 59 SF

Urinalysis Lab 125 SF Records Storage 187 SF

Public Lobby 206 SF

Urinalysis Toilet 72 SF

Storage / WR 129 SF

Urinalysis Toilet 60 SF

Staff Lounge / Conf. 205 SF

Manager's Office 218 SF

Open Work Areas 286 SF

Basement Ceiling Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”


The wooden public circulation system was given more liberty to grow and express itself by continuing beam and columns out into spaces where the CLT slabs no longer existed. These were meant to demonstrate the structure of the building without having the backdrop of a floor immediately above it (in essence, a trellace.) Furthermore, the mass timber system became populated with HVAC and other MEP essentials that were visually exposed to the users. It was our intention that by not hiding away from these systems users would garner a sense of authenticity or further experience complexity within the space. These systems would clash with the final new addition to the interior space, the light masses.


Level 1 Plans (+/- 0’. 0”) (1/32” = 1’-0”)

Jury Service / Vending 156 SF

Mech. Chase 71 SF

Elec. Closet 28 SF

Clerk's Station 91 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Jury Check-In 109 SF

Housekeeping CL 82 SF

Jury Assembly Room 1197 SF

Storage 88 SF

Weapons DW 27 SF

Jury M WC 219 SF Mech. Chase 109 SF

Vehicle Sallyport 1568 SF

Mail Room / Delivery Screening 263 SF

Jury W WC 209 SF

Loading and Service 593 SF

Mech. Chase 15 SF

Private Lounge 579 SF

M Public WC 272 SF

L1 Structure Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”

W Public WC 279 SF

L1 Ceiling Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”


Similar to the articulate cladding experienced on the interior public surfaces of the concrete mass in the atrium, the light fixtures were used as an opportunity to continue the curve-linear geometry on the small scale. Whereas the concrete staff program represented the macroscale rectilinear geometry, the small pushed an pulled cubes were of a more human scale and occurred on the surfaces of the building within the skin where the public could experience them. The lights were used as an opportunity to create a dialogue between the small scale geometries, intersect with some systems, and act as a tool for augmenting the totally orthogonal spaces on the atrium. If a location needed more privacy, we could put a wall of “light-bubbles� where the grid would not permit.


Level 2 Plans (+ 15’. 0”) (1/32” = 1’-0”)

M Public WC 247 SF Holding Cell 135 SF

Sallyport 214 SF

Magistrate Courtroom 1330 SF

W Public WC 199 SF

Housekeeping CL 81 SF

Elec. Closet 28 SF

Sallyport 269 SF

Secure Soundlock 178 SF

SL 98 SF

Attorney Conference 162 SF

Secure SL 51 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Holding Cell 130 SF

Mech. Chase 71 SF

Mech. Chase 109 SF

Staff Lounge / Conference 313 SF Records Storage 200 SF

AV / Storage 89 SF SL 50 SF Cashier Room 59 SF

Staff W WC 63 SF

Jury Room 260 SF Closet 49 SF

Open Work Areas 239 SF

Staff M WC 63 SF

Shared WR 241 SF

W WC 126 SF Mech. Chase 15 SF M WC 115 SF

Judge's WC 68 SF

Public Lobby 219 SF

Administrator Office 172 SF

Shared WA 154 SF

Judge's Closet 13 SF

Reception 105 SF

Administrator Office 192 SF

Manager's Office 195 SF

Judge's Office / Conference 429 SF

L2 Structure Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”

L2 MEP/Ceiling Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”


Much of the courtroom design stayed the same since the previous iteration; the program and its placement hardly changed. One of the only minor adjustments that was made was the continuation of cubic articulation on the walls into the courtroom, however, this was only included adjacent to where the audience would be seated. In this way we hoped to have a more comprehensive feel for the public program, and draw contrast between where that changed into being a part of the courtroom proceedings, thus evoking reverence for the activities. A Burnett County seal was added above the desk of the judge on the back wall. This was the only adornment, in a space of total purity, as a way of reminding users of the exact purpose for which they were present.


Level 3 Plans (+ 30’. 0”) (1/32” = 1’-0”)

Jury Room 288 SF Judge's Office / Conference 626 SF

Closet 40 SF

SL 47 SF

Holding Cell 130 SF

District Courtroom 1664 SF

Judge's WC 65 SF Sallyport 277 SF

Reception 164 SF

Mech. Chase 109 SF

SL 117 SF

Attorney Conference 142 SF

Holding Cell 110 SF

M Public WC 244 SF Elec. Closet 28 SF

AV / Storage 121 SF

Housekeeping CL 81 SF

Shared WA 260 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Judge's Closet 10 SF

Secure SL 58 SF

Law Clerk 169 SF

W WC 94 SF

Mech. Chase 60 SF

W Public WC 248 SF

M WC 93 SF

Records Storage 203 SF Paralegal 166 SF

Paralegal 147 SF

Assistant DA 180 SF Computer Tel / Data 109 SF

Assistant DA 161 SF

DA 276 SF

Mech. Chase 15 SF

Trial Prep Conf 503 SF

L3 Structure Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”

Reception 292 SF

L3 MEP/Ceiling Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”


In the final weeks, rectifying the fragments of the building existing in multiple software became particularly difficult; mesh and other files were too large to simply drag and drop into Revit, so simplifications and reductions in polygon counts had to occur. The skin had six thousand faces each of which had to be selected by a single click in order to be a part of a curtain wall system. The cubes and other articulatory elements had to be turned into masses in the Revit file for material to be applied, or illumination to occur. In the end, the file was complete, with little time for post processing on drawings from the software. The rendering above for example, exists in raw from directly exported from the Revit rendering dialogue. It’s safe to say that the modeling paid off in the end.


Level 4 Plans (+ 45’. 0”) (1/32” = 1’-0”)

M Public WC 263 SF

Elec. Closet 28 SF

Housekeeping CL 82 SF

Data Closet 28 SF

Mech. Chase 74 SF

W Public WC 284 SF

Sallyport 124 SF

Holding Cell 114 SF

Holding Cell 135 SF Secure SL 105 SF

Mech. Chase 109 SF

Attorney Conf. 152 SF

Magistrate Courtroom 1330 SF

SL 98 SF

Reception 161 SF

AV / Storage 109 SF

Mech. Chase 16 SF Private Catwalk 175 SF

Judge's WC 73 SF

Shared WA 209 SF Judge's Closet 10 SF

Judge's Office / Conference 530 SF

L4 Structure Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”

W WC 107 SF

M WC 109 SF

Closet 50 SF

SL 49 SF

Jury Room 344 SF

L4 MEP/Ceiling Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”


Perhaps the greatest challenge with this building was in determining where exactly a boundary should occur, or how much public space was necessary. The roof was the most valuable program created from the height inherent to the design, it seemed to make sense to enclose it and create a public space that was devoid of ‘purposeful’ program. At the same time, enclosing this space needed to be done delicately as to not disturb the new found balance between geometries visible from the street level. The result was one of perspectival balance; from the top, the curve-linear surface clearly dominates the form, however from the streetview, the rectilinear is much more prominent.


Level 5 Plans (+ 60’. 0”) (1/32” = 1’-0”)

Roof Structure Plan - 1/64”=1’-0”


The clearest understanding of the building can be derived from the section views which put the many elements in proportion and give depth or context to one another. It is also through this vantage point that MEP and Structure become totally visible. The building exists as a concreteclad steel structure with a mass-timber system in the very center; the skin also exists as a steel structure. Within the drop-ceiling spaces for the structure, the MEP systems snake their way around the building out of cavities that run along the major egress elements on either side of the building. It was this placement that made them both most-potent as a means of getting people out of the building as well as getting systems most close to the spaces people in habited. It was in the last week where we began to add final fenestration to the building, and we were able to do so using the same methodology the program was developed through. Wherever necessary, we could pull a glass extrusion out of the surface of a concrete wall to generate a window or light-well. This happened in the more important spaces in the building such as Judge’s Chambers or jury assembly spaces and offices. It was contemplated that these could be extruded up out of the landscape around the building to give natural light to subterraneous program, but the time was not present for this to be added to the model before the presentation, given the constraints of establishing every other necessary geometry.


N/S Longitudinal Section - 1/32”=1’-0”

E/W Transverse Section - 1/32”=1’-0”


[ A1 ]

Double Pane IGU Double Sided Butt Glazed Mullion Silicone Seal Custom Corner Mullion Cast Acrylic Corner

Concrete Edge Joint Concrete on Steel Deck Flashing Strip

Steel Structure

Waterproofing Barrier Rigid Insulation Plywood Sheathing Concrete Cladding

Glass Box Detail - 1”=1’-0” [ A2 ] Pitched Precast Concrete Parapet Cap

Flashing Strip

Steel Stud (Parapet Header)

Waterproofing Barrier Rigid Insulation Plywood Sheathing Concrete Cladding Concrete on Steel Deck Steel Structure

Custom Steel Beam Carriage

Rubber Expansion Joint Flexible Silcone Seal

Steel 4” Mullion Sytem Double Pane IGU

Custom Steel Beams (Ruled Surfaces) Silicone Seal

Skin Structure Connection Detail - 1”=1’-0” [ A3 ]

Custom Steel Beams (Ruled Surfaces) Silicone Seal

Steel 4” Mullion Sytem Double Pane IGU

Voronoi Skin Structure/Mullion Detail - 3/8”=1’-0”


E/W Core Wall Section (1/8” = 1’-0”)

[ A3 ]

[ A2 ]

[ A1 ]


[ B1 ]

Double Pane IGU Double Sided Butt Glazed Mullion Silicone Seal Custom Corner Mullion Cast Acrylic Corner

Glass Catwalk/Hallway Detail - 3/8”=1’-0” [ B2 ]

Wood-Stud Baltic-Birch Plywood Finish Face LED Handrail Lighting Planter Box Wood Construction Cross-Laminated Timber Slab Glulam Beam System

Mass Timber Atrium Detail - 3/8”=1’-0” [ B3 ]

Cross-Laminated Timber Slab Glulam Beam Sytem Water (H2O) Concrete Screed Impermeable Vinyl Layer Concrete Foundation Slab Waterproofing Layer Rigid Insulation Gravel Earth

Atrium Reflecting Pool Detail - 3/8”=1’-0”


N/S Entrance Wall Section (1/16” = 1’-0”)

[ B1 ]

[ B4 ]

[ B5 ] [ B6 ]

[ B2 ]

[ B3 ]


[ B4 ]

Concrete on Steel Deck Concrete Edge Joint Cross-Laminated Timber Slab

Steel Angle

Glulam Beam System

Steel Structure Plywood Sheathing Concrete Cladding

Timber/Concrete Connection Detail - 3/8”=1’-0” [ B5 ]

Steel Stud (Edge Cap) Aluminum Flashing Strip Precast Concrete Paver Gravel (Bed for paver) Butt-Glazed Mullions Double Pane IGU Concrete on Steel Deck Steel Structure

Earth/Wall Connection Detail - 3/8”=1’-0” [ B6 ]

Plants / Vegetation Growing Medium Filter Cloth Steel Angle (Green Edge) Drainage Layer Root Barrier Waterproofing Barrier Rigid Insulation Waterproofing Barrier Concrete on Steel Deck Steel Structure

Intensive Greenroof Detail - 3/8”=1’-0”


Matte White Paint/Drywall

Precast Concrete

Baltic Birch Plywood

Stained/Polished Concrete

Cross Laminated Timber

Frosted Glass

Material Palette


Conclusion

Less is more More is more. Modern architecture developed as a response to the societal changes of the industrial revolution and the necessity for a clean aesthetic devoid of the incestual tradition of beaux-arts ornamentation that had plagued the baroque era. At this time the world was seeing a level of change to the underlying rules that had been in place for millennia unseen by anyone else who lived before them. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the fathers of modern design is often associated with his quotation of the aphorisms, “less is more” and “God is in the details”. When viewing his work, it is clearly evident that the material was given room to ‘speak for itself’ and that the joinery between these elements and the composition they maintained was where architecture occurred. In recent history however, our society has been undergoing shifts could perhaps be more world altering that the industrial revolutions, but none the less usher in another era in human civilization. Information has become more plentiful and available to every; tools are more complex and continue to develop. At the simplest level, architecture will change to respond to the opportunities presented by new energy simulations or advanced ways of considering exposure or circulation. At a more fundamental level, however, architecture will change because designers and engineers have new tools to make things possible that were not considered ‘build-able ideas’ before now.


It is here, in “Contemporary Avantgarde� design where we begin to see the implications of computational tools and new methods of building. While undulating and fractal surfaces may be poor representations of the proper uses of these tools, they are an example of what is now possible. If I may make a prediction, I believe that computational design responds to the new age of information that we now live in the same way that modernism responded to the first industrial revolution. Whereas after modernism took hold, one had no choice but to be a modern architect, I believe that this too shall pass for computational design. In the source code of the courthouse, a revelation was presented during the design phase. Complexity and Contradiction by Robert Venturi proposes it is up to designers to populate a space with moments of thought provoking complexity to enhance a user’s experience. Given computational tools ability to derive mass-customized parts for a building, it would seem that unique intersections at every part of a surface truly evoke the idea of complexity; and if these unique elements each presented the optimized version of a singe function, they would be responding to an evolution of the original modernists ideals of performance. In this way, more would truly be more; offering moments of deep complexity, optimized functionality, and expression in a way that traditional design could not.


Generative Iconography - Comprehensive Studio Documentation  

Documentation for Comprehensive Studio Courthouse Project (spring 2017) "A study in complex (aggregated additive and subtractive) intersecti...

Generative Iconography - Comprehensive Studio Documentation  

Documentation for Comprehensive Studio Courthouse Project (spring 2017) "A study in complex (aggregated additive and subtractive) intersecti...

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