Chicago Internal Affairs Department // Bartlett, UCL // Jan - June 2014
Responding to recent examples of corruption within the Chicago Police Department in the local and national media, the project sets about taking the typology of the police station and intertwining this with a CPD Internal Affairs division.
Eschewing technological devices such as bugs, the project proposes to use the morphology of the architectural fabric to create an internalised landscape that allows for the reading and observation of Police procedures across the normal functioning of the station.
Held in an infill site within the Chicago Loop, the building takes the everyday vernacular features of the backs of buildings, the water tower, the chain link fence or the boarded up window, and turns these into an architectural language that proposes normality from the outside and a finely tuned internal landscape that traces the movements within. These traces, combined with the set typology and procedures of the Police Station produce spaces that read nascent deviations that might spiral into corruptions.
Through an internal condition of elements such as egg-shaped interview rooms, pivoting evidence lockers and ballistically tuned shooting ranges the building becomes a topology of duality, where the thicknesses of materials, and extents of space are in a perpetual flux.