Urban Fold

New Courthouse 'Breaks All the Rules'

Reporter Robert Campbell says that the new Springfield Courthouse designed by architect Moshe Safdie is 'one of the most inviting public buildings I've ever seen.'

"Isn't a courthouse supposed to celebrate the dignity and discipline of the law by means of architecture that is sober and, well, maybe even a little grim, a little frowning?

A new federal courthouse here breaks all those rules. Designed by the well-known architect Moshe Safdie, who operates out of Somerville and Cambridge, it's one of the most inviting public buildings I've ever seen.

The courthouse stands on a major street, State Street. It's pretty much in the middle of an informal civic center, surrounded by handsome older buildings - a cathedral, an armory, a library, a museum, all of which are surfaced in dark stone or red brick. In the middle of this sober architectural party, the new courthouse seems to spiral out like a ballerina. It's white, it's delicate, and it sweeps across the site in a long curve, very much a star attraction on a civic stage."

Full Story: A case for light and order


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