RS 29

a spatial history of swedish rural courts court, jail, weigh house, fire station, and pub, the larger and more numerous rural courts gathered in farmhouses or inns.Any large roomwould do. This paper deals with Swedish rural courthouse architecture as it developed from the early eighteenth century until the 1950s. Using an extensive study of surviving courthouse structures from those 250 years, I will discuss the essential continuities and crucial differences regarding the spatial configuration and architectural design that characterize courthouses built in the period. While the principles of spatial organization applied in the 1890s relied heavily on the ones established in the early eighteenth century, there were also important differences that predicted what would become Sweden’s contemporary courts. I argue that both the eighteenth-century configuration that set the spatial conditions for so long, and the changes that eventually brought a new layout and sociospatial organization, were driven by architectural concepts as much as judicial needs and visions. Embracing the idea that built environments, with historian Anthony D. King’s words, ‘encode or give expression to a particular set of cultural rules’, I propose that along with considering judicial architecture as a one-way reflection of legal culture, we also need to explore in what ways it has affected court proceedings and practices.4 The architecture and spatial configuration of law court buildings form a productive and multidisciplinary area of research that brings together lawyers, legal historians, architects, and sociologists.5 This essay, positioned in the field of history of the built environment, applies a threefold perspective on historical courthouses, considering how they were conceived, built, and used. Compared to other research projects in the field, it is an approach that stays as close to the buildings’ materiality and everyday use as it does to ideas and conceptions. 4 Anthony D. King, Buildings and society: Essays on the social development of built environment (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980), 27. 5 Among the most recent publications are Scott 2016; Patrícia Branco & Laurence Dumoulin, ‘La justice en trois dimensions: Représentations, architectures et rituels’, Droit &Société 87 (2014), 485–508; Jonathan Simon, Nicholas Temple & Renée Tobe (ed.), Architecture and Justice: Judicial meanings in the public realm(Farnham: Ashgate, 2013); Löfgren 2011; Mulcahy 2011; Pierre Caye, ‘Droit et architecture: Savoirs de la différence, arts de la distance’, in François Terré (ed.), Regards sur le droit (Paris: Dalloz, 2010); Guillaume Protière (ed.) Espaces du Droit et Droit des Espaces (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2009). 143