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    New Justice in the Old West

    by ArchitectureWeek

    Even if justice in the "wild west" of American history was rough and haphazard, we can look back to the 19th century with nostalgia for the direct, practical style of wood and masonry construction. Working within that context, the Denver firm of Fentress Bradburn Architects has sought a balance between historic forms and modern amenities.

    The result is the newly opened, $26 million, 171,000-square-foot (15,900-square-meter) Larimer County Justice Center in the north-central Colorado city of Fort Collins. It is intended to blend in with the region's turn-of-the-century architecture while housing technologies that achieve modern standards of energy savings, occupant comfort, and security.

    The new justice center is home to 14 courtrooms, district, county, municipal, and probationary offices, plus a law library. Natural cherry wood, indigenous to the region, is used throughout the building. In the public corridors, the double-doorway millwork design and floating soffits call to mind the storefronts in many Larimer County towns.

    The public corridor's bench seating and lighting echo park benches and street lanterns. The porcelain tile colors throughout the justice center reflect a natural palette related to the regional environment. Tile is used to render the indigenous maple leaf at the west entrance.

     

    Continue...

    ArchWeek Photo

    The Latin inscription, "Justice is not to be denied nor delayed," displayed inside the west entrance was also inscribed on the original 1887 Larimer County Courthouse cornerstone.
    Lisa Hillmer/Fentress Bradburn Architects

    ArchWeek Photo

    Fourth floor judge's chambers.
    Lisa Hillmer/Fentress Bradburn Architects

     

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