Location: Oakland, California
Team: Francis Goyes, Deanna Van Buren
Status: Design completed 2013
Illustrated here are examples of a new architecture model we are developing called The Restorative Justice Center.
The Restorative Justice Center explores alternative forms that mirror and replicate the ways that participants in restorative or peacemaking processes organize themselves, such as non-hierarchical circles. It also incorporates opportunities to access the natural world, in order to modulate fight or flight responses to conflict by reducing stress at the emotional and physiological level.
In the imagined iconic prototype, alternative forms stand against the backdrop of the traditional courthouse. It is sited on body of water to allow for direct and integrated access to nature, and its porosity and openness further facilitate that access. Spaces for inner reflection, gardens, kitchens for breaking bread, multiple entrances, and nested peacemaking spaces all support the peacebuilding process in different ways, accommodating the three primary parties in restorative processes: (1) those who have committed harm, (2) those who have been harmed, and (3) the larger community.