Courts have been an integral part of a community since the development of the Forum in Roman cities. From local circuit courts and city halls to the Halls of Supreme Court, millions of Americans have utilized these facilities for civic, social and community involvement. Now in the modern era, how does a municipal courthouse continue to serve as the local identity of justice while ensuring a secure location for discourse and business?
As the preeminent symbol of authority in local communities, a municipal courthouse must express solemnity, stability, integrity, rigor, and fairness. Furthermore, the building must be the embodiment of the surrounding community’s history, religious and secular beliefs and cultural differences. Many courthouses strive to contribute positively to the architectural fabric of the local community.
As publicly funded buildings, municipal courthouses need to be as energy efficient as possible. Utilizing green building principles in design makes sense both environmentally and financially. Having a publicly used, LEED® certified building can help introduce community members to green building principles.
Sponsored by Kawneer and administered by the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), this competition challenges students to learn about building materials, specifically architectural aluminum building products and systems in the design of a secure and sustainable municipal courthouse. While open to any student, the competition is designed for advanced students. Total prize money is $7,225, including $2,500 for the first place winning design.