Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse

Architect: DLR Group

Associated Architect: AM Design

Location: Torrington, CT

Awarded a publish

Requiring the need to consolidate four divisions of its court system into a more efficient operation to handle civil, criminal, family and juvenile court processes on a tight site, the new Litchfield Courthouse integrates the courthouse aesthetically into the existing context of the surrounding neighborhood, reflecting a traditional courthouse with a colonnade and clock/stair tower.

Its cast stone and brick exterior make a respectful addition to the local community while creating a clear and dignified presence of justice to the visiting public and user groups alike. The challenge was to insert a new structure that provided 381 secure parking spaces for judges and other staff members with direct access to the courthouse as well as a public parking lot near the main entry.

"Created a large-scale intervention in a neighborhood but still is a good neighbor. The security screening entry is nicely integrated into the arcade, making the weapons screening less prominent." ~ Jury comments

The 188,859 sq ft Litchfield Courthouse includes 10 new courtrooms/hearing rooms in a four-story above-grade building and one additional lower level. The project also includes an adjacent 29,200 sq ft parking structure. The building is targeted to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver designation as well as the State of Connecticut's High-Performance Building standards.  Integrating a one-story parking deck for staff and judicial parking into the design solution was the key to achieving site development goals. This feature was the result of a collaborative process fostered by the design/build delivery method and was not a requirement of the original project scope. The added value offered by the parking deck was a differentiator to the proposed solution.

Another benefit to the parking solution was the design team ability to create a larger building footprint while achieving ample greenspace to meet city development guidelines. The larger footprint allowed greater planning flexibility to co-locate departments on common floors. The result was a floor plan that supported operation efficiencies and eliminated program redundancies due to fragmented departmental floor plans.

Additional information

Acoustics: Cerami & Associates

Associate Architect: AM Design Architects, Inc.

Contractor: KBE Building Corporation

Engineer – Civil: BVH Integrated Services

Engineer – MEPFP: BVH Integrated Services

Engineer – Security: BVH Integrated Services

Engineer – Structural: BVH Integrated Services

Landscape - CR3, LLP


Mallory Scott Cusenbery, AIA (Chair), RossDrulisCusenbery, Sonoma, California

Hon. Celeste F. Bremer, United States District Court | Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa

Michael Cox, AIA, Wold Architects and Engineers, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Julian Jaffary, B.Arch, OAA, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thomas Pulaski, Prince William County Police Department, Woodbridge, Virginia

Arthur Thompson, AIA, SMRT, Portland, Maine

Charles W. Wend, Mount Vernon, Washington

Image credits


Paul Burk Photography


Paul Burk Photography


Paul Burk Photography


Paul Burk Photography

lch_site plan_JFR

Paul Burk Photography