USDC Chambers and Courtroom
This project involved the renovation of approximately 4,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the Flint Federal Building. It included the demolition and renovation of an existing courtroom, jury deliberation room, and Judge’s Chambers. The building’s exterior is in the style of Art Deco but the interior was gutted in the 1960s leaving none of the original construction. There were no original building drawings or photographs to utilize in replicating what may have been there. Working with Chief Judge Gerald Rosen, we determined that the new Chambers and Courtroom would be in the style of Art Deco. The Judge’s private office was to be warm and rich without being opulent while accommodating several different types of work in a small office: a reading area, a working area, and a small meeting area. These areas were defined within the office primarily through a variety of ceiling heights, lighting, and furniture arrangements. The remainder of the Chambers played off the details developed for the private office to make a cohesive unit. The Courtroom was detailed in a similar manner to the Chambers across the hallway. The main challenge with Courtroom was to create a larger room to accommodate a jury while having much less space available than a standard courtroom. This was accomplished in part by constructing movable components like a removable riser for larger juries and a movable witness stand. A small and affordable amount of green marble was used as decorative bands at the judge’s bench and on the wall to add a greater level of detail and visual interest that was consistent with an Art deco design. The entrance door to the Courtroom was also improved. Renderings were used to communicate the design intent to the USDC.