RS 29

part ii • legal cultures • eva löfgren crowded the courtroom and shared the same privy and bad air. Though meticulously planned and painstakingly financed by local communities, courthouses were still surrounded by fields, pigsties, and orchards. Yet, despite this and the fact that the interconnections and physical encounters were many, contemporary official documents and layouts indicate that the course towards spatial segregation was set. In terms of location and spatial configuration, great changes occurred in rural district courthouses in the first decades of the twentieth century. Industrialization and urbanization came relatively late to Sweden, and amajority of the population at this time lived in rural districts. However, as these were merged and reduced to half their original number, many of the larger, still rural districts built their new courthouse in town.18 On the outskirts of a growing settlement, surrounded by a suitably laid out garden which made architecture appear suitably monumental, the rural district court was a driving force in urban development, and was often the first of the public buildings. It was geographically detached from its rural district and the bustle of its new context, much like a privatemansion. The architectural language was classicist, and although the layout deviated from the symmetric ideal in some important respects, the facades certainly did not. The layout of the new courthouses set out from the symmetrical, central-axis configuration, the design of which had once been taken from private dwellings. There was an essential continuity with previous conditions. Visitors entered the courtroom through the centred main entrance and stepped from the vestibule right into the courtroom, where they faced the equally centred judge at the back of the room. Even though he (thus far always a he) was at a greater distance than before, the spatial relationship remained unbroken.One new function was added to the courthouse buildings: private flats or rooms for the caretaker and court clerk. 18 Löfgren 2011, 340–2. 150 Heading towards separation