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Blog

Alan Ruby

Alan Ruby joined Fentress in 2002 and is one of the company's senior architects. He combines an extensive knowledge of architecture and the built environment with analytical skills. Alan is an avid scuba diver and cyclist, and a long-time collector of abstract art.

Recent Posts

Is Your Courtroom User-Friendly?

Posted by Alan Ruby on Aug 16, 2018

Topics: Courtroom Design, courthouse architect

 

By Alan S. Ruby

The features of a courtroom help set the tone for the proceedings that take place within its walls. This article examines the design features that can make a courtroom feel user-friendly versus intimidating, and how a user-friendly courtroom might best support justice in a trial.

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Six Essential Spaces for Stress-free Jurors!

Posted by Alan Ruby on Jul 5, 2018

Topics: courthouse design, jury assembly area

 

By Alan Ruby, Senior Architect

A much greater number of people serve on juries than participate in the judicial system as plaintiffs, defendants, or attorneys. It is therefore vital that the jury assembly areas be as welcoming as possible. This blog addresses how an architect or courthouse planner can ensure that the jury assembly area provides the spaces needed to create a welcoming and user-friendly experience for prospective jurors.

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Can Courthouse Circulation be User-Friendly - Absolutely!

Posted by Alan Ruby on May 24, 2018

Topics: courthouse design, courthouse circulation

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

Just walking through a courthouse can be a stressful experience for a visitor. Whether being called as a witness or to serve on a jury, or just picking up documents from the clerk’s office, the serious nature of a courthouse can be intimidating. This article focuses on the steps that can be taken by architects and courthouse planners to ensure that public hallways create a welcoming positive impression for the visitor and are user-friendly.

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Creating a User-friendly Courthouse Lobby

Posted by Alan Ruby on May 3, 2018

Topics: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, courthouse design

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

The current public image of the courthouse is evolving from an imposing, awe-inspiring, and even intimidating symbol to one that is welcoming and user-friendly. I recently wrote about concepts that can be applied to the exterior of a courthouse to make it more welcoming. In my view, a welcoming lobby is an extension of a welcoming exterior. The main entrance lobby is the first interior courthouse space encountered by the public. This article explores some of the techniques used to create a user-friendly courthouse lobby that will likely enhance the visitor’s entire judicial experience.

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Courthouse Design Tips: Creating a User-friendly Exterior

Posted by Alan Ruby on Apr 19, 2018

Topics: Courthouse Aesthetics, courthouse design

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

My first experience with a courthouse was not good. In fact, it was terrifying and the memory has remained with me to this day. And it began on the courthouse steps before I walked through the front door. In my experience, the exterior image of a courthouse can range from an imposing and intimidating symbol such as the one I first experienced, to one that is welcoming and user-friendly. I believe this first impression can affect your entire judicial experience.

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The Building Blocks of Courthouse Organization

Posted by Alan Ruby on Mar 1, 2018

Topics: courthouse design, courthouse circulation, courthouse adjacencies

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

The design of every building is a puzzle. Courthouses are no exception. All the pieces need to fit in a way that make sense and that help guide us through the building. The building blocks of courthouse organization include which pieces are located on the ground floor versus upper floors. And which pieces need to, or in some cases shouldn’t be, located near one another (i.e., adjacencies). A well-organized courthouse has all the puzzle pieces in the right places, which enhances the delivery of justice.

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Pathways to Justice: Courthouse Circulation

Posted by Alan Ruby on Feb 15, 2018

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, courthouse design

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

The role of a courthouse circulation system is both to connect courthouse components and to separate the movement of the public, judges, court personnel, and prisoners throughout the courthouse. This article provides guidance to architects and court managers regarding the functional objectives and design principles that can lead to an ideal courthouse circulation system.

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The Courtroom Set: A Vital Part of Courthouse Planning

Posted by Alan Ruby on Jan 18, 2018

Topics: Courtroom Design, courthouse design

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

The courthouse is both a prominent symbol of the rule of law and a day-to-day workplace for judges, attorneys, and court staff. As a workplace, it is unlike any other public or private sector facility. This article addresses the core of that workplace – the courtroom set – and provides guidance to architects and court managers regarding its functional objectives and design principles.

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Open Office Design in Cities Left Behind

Posted by Alan Ruby on Dec 7, 2017

Topics: Open Office Design, Space Transition, Facility and Architectural Studies

 

By Alan Ruby, Senior Architect

Do all urban areas offer the same potential for applying open office concepts? Or could the urban success gap be a limitation? This article explores those questions and offers some insight to help derive answers. But first, let’s consider the urban success gap.

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Can Teleworking Solve Your Small Business Staffing Problems?

Posted by Alan Ruby on Sep 7, 2017

Topics: Space Transition, Mobile Workforce Solutions, Virtual Workforce, Telework

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

The monthly unemployment rate gets a lot of attention from the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and of course from the Federal Reserve. But there is another side of the employment coin that does not get as much attention. Still, it is a concern that is equally important to our nation’s economic well-being: filling empty positions with qualified employees to maintain full productivity.

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