U.S. Courthouse – Alpine

Alpine, TX

Project Description

The design of this courthouse is a very particular response to the extraordinary quality of the local landscape, the climate of West Texas and the very specific mission of its occupants. The simplicity and solidity of the building takes full account of the powerful Trans-Pecos terrain that dominates the experience of this locale. Its materials—primarily russet-colored dry-stacked local West Texas sandstone—link the building to the larger landscape as well as providing high thermal mass appropriate for a climate with a high diurnal swing.

All of the primary departments housed in the Courthouse have a distinct "front door" on an open covered walkway, which allows people to come and go without traveling through another unit. The walkway surrounds a landscaped courtyard, which contributes a sense of intimacy, graciousness and beauty available to all units and their visitors. The court functions are appropriately elevated to the second floor. A double-height rotunda connects the two floors and provides a dignified, civic feeling for the courts. Particular attention was paid to exterior site accessibility, which is often neglected. Not only routes to doors, but also places for outdoor events under the entry trellis and in the courtyard were made fully accessible. All three separate circulation routes for prisoners, judges and the public were also made completely accessible.



AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice Knowledge Community (AAJ) Justice Facility Review Citation Award
Austin AIA Award
Building Stone Institute Tucker Design Award
GSA Design Award
Society of American Registered Architects Design Award of Excellence
Texas Society of Architects Design Award

Related Services