Adapted from a dilapidated warehouse into a cutting-edge yet comfortable facility, this new Circuit Courthouse provides a calming, peaceful, and dignified court experience, helping bring justice to cases of domestic violence.

To maximize use of the site and orient the building toward the city center, the rear was repositioned to become the front, requiring a new entrance lobby. The new façade—a terra-cotta tile and aluminum panel system employing state-of-the-art rain screen technology—was secured to vertical trusses, creating a soaring lobby. Building circulation separates disputing parties, helping to alleviate threats and intimidation that commonly accompany these proceedings. Additional support functions include a childcare facility with separate areas for infants, toddlers, and older children.

Successfully completed under budget, this LEED Silver building was recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Justice and selected for inclusion in the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Justice Knowledge Community (AAJ) Justice Facility Review.

Circuit Court of Cook County

Type: Cultural
Location: Chicago, IL
Client: City of Chicago
Year: 2005
Size: 169,000 SF
Status: Built
Awards: AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice Justice Facility Review

Circuit Court of Cook County


Adapted from a dilapidated warehouse into a cutting-edge yet comfortable facility, this new Circuit Courthouse provides a calming, peaceful, and dignified court experience, helping bring justice to cases of domestic violence.

To maximize use of the site and orient the building toward the city center, the rear was repositioned to become the front, requiring a new entrance lobby. The new façade—a terra-cotta tile and aluminum panel system employing state-of-the-art rain screen technology—was secured to vertical trusses, creating a soaring lobby. Building circulation separates disputing parties, helping to alleviate threats and intimidation that commonly accompany these proceedings. Additional support functions include a childcare facility with separate areas for infants, toddlers, and older children.

Successfully completed under budget, this LEED Silver building was recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Justice and selected for inclusion in the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Justice Knowledge Community (AAJ) Justice Facility Review.

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