Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

The Federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, CO is an architecturally stunning building with a deep history. The judicial decisions made here have helped shape the lives of all Americans. Studio Tectonic designed a new public exhibit within the 1916 building focuses on three main content areas:

  • Teach about the critical role that the Tenth Circuit Court plays in the federal justice system and the appeals process throughout the judiciary.
  • Explore the history of the architecturally rich building with its references to ancient-to-modern rule of law and to the postal service that it also housed.
  • Celebrate important past cases that were decided by the Tenth Circuit Court and use them to express the range of appellate courts’ work.

Studio Tectonic worked with the court’s officials, the Tenth Circuit Historical Society, and researchers to focus and frame the purpose of the exhibition. The building’s architecture is carefully integrated into the design and use of symbol and legal references enrich the displays.

Project scope included all phases of design and documentation as well as public bid of fabrication and construction administration.


Federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals


Denver, CO

Inspired by Architecture

Inspired by turn of the 20th century neoclassical architecture, the exhibits in the public visitor space pay honor to the high architectural style of the Byron White U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in downtown Denver. Flowing through the space, overhead ribbons derived from unfurling legal scrolls bridge across an expansive gallery. Studio Tectonic paid particular attention to historic details including building trim, window design, symbolism, color, among many other historic preservation details. The exhibitry quietly complements the space while supporting the dynamic stories of some of the most important cases heard within this building.

A Democratic Temple

This building is a monument to the western ideals of justice, democracy, and patriotism. The building is embellished with symbols such as eagles, caducei, and fasces. Eagles are on doors, archways, railings, podiums, and even doorknobs.

Two ancient symbols alternate with eagles on the outside of the building: The caduceus, a winged staff with two snakes, represents commerce, and the fasces, a bunch of rods and an axe tied together, signifies a judge’s authority.