Biddeford District Court

Biddeford, Maine    

The site selected for the Biddeford Courthouse reinforces the city's downtown as the center of business and government. The main entry for the building faces Biddeford City Hall and a century-old monument on Adams Street. A new linear park between Adams Street and Washington Street interconnects the old courthouse and public parking with City Hall.

Three separate circulation plans separate the public, the judges' offices, and the access of prisoners. One large operations floor, reached through the raised front door, contains all public, administrative, and judicial functions, including both courtrooms and the public transaction windows.

Judges' offices on this floor have direct access to the courtrooms without crossing paths with the public. The lower floor contains prisoner functions and the district attorney's office. This planning was a direct response to site slope and subsurface bearing conditions.

Window openings and brick patterns maintain the rhythm of neighboring brick buildings, including the City Hall several blocks away and the city's riverside mill architecture. A copper roof and entry podium establish the courthouse as a unique public building. The "blind" windows conveniently add internal security for meeting and conference rooms.

Alan G. Kuniholm

Night Photo ©Sandy Agrafiotos