Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

MAY 10, 2021  |  DENVER, CO

Honoring the Legacy of Justice

Back in July 2020, ACME teamed up with Studio Tectonic to fabricate a new exhibit for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado. With over a century long legacy, it felt appropriate to pay homage to what shaped American Judicial history.

Tenth Circuit Court | Ram Statue Stand - Square | Denver, CO
Tenth Circuit Court | Architecture Exhibit - Square | Denver, CO
Tenth Circuit Court | Exhibit Stand - Square | Denver, CO

Studio Tectonic started working on a design back in 2017, completing the overall look in 2018. Seth Frankel, Lead at Studio Tectonic, said: “We wanted to unpack this complexity, in general ways for audiences from middle school to people directly involved with the court. All of this needed to be championed within the context of an exhibit that was respectful and elegant within the historical building, but also not be overly stiff and inapproachable in design, content, and organization.”

“It’s a highly complex subject area, and one that’s very misunderstood. The judiciary is the most misconstrued of the three branches of government.”

Seth Frankel, Studio Tectonic
Tenth Circuit Court | Exhibit Space | Denver, CO

Studio Tectonic was able to perfect the balance of dignified design with informed, digestible content that added to the overall experience and understanding from the exhibit.


  • 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.

A key focus in the design approach, was adding visual tributes to the 20th century neoclassical architecture of the Byron White U.S. Court of Appeals. This inspiration can be seen within the exhibit graphics via the colors, symbolism, and exhibit stand designs. Seth Frankel added, “Prior to our work in 2017 the court worked with another designer for several years, didn’t like the direction, and eventually made their way to us.”

The utilization of the unique features on what makes the Byron White U.S. Court of Appeals a centerpiece, helped drive the storytelling within the exhibit.

Tenth Circuit Court | Total Space | Denver, CO

Studio Tectonic has worked with ACME in the past, most notably on the Colorado University Biology wing, and Camp Cowabunga for Topeka Zoo. Our history of providing quality for these exhibits paved the way for our opportunity to assist in the fabrication on this new project.

Craftsmanship to achieve excellence in every project 

The main feature within the space are four free-standing kiosks with metal window frames and metal ribbons intertwined in between. Each kiosk is built with MDF particle boards and a hidden metal frame inside to help maintain structural integrity. Many of the kiosks had interactive elements included, it was important that the stands were able to handle the direct physical contact.

Tenth Circuit Court | Court Room Graphic - Square | Denver, CO
Tenth Circuit Court | Outdoors - Square | Denver, CO
Tenth Circuit Court | Exhibit In Use - Square | Denver, CO

The metal window frames are direct replicas of the original Byron White frames. Following the draft down to the exact specifications was integral in capturing the thoughtfulness from the design.

We also crafted three pedestal bases, in use by the Ram statue, Robe, and architectural drawing pieces.

“This building is a monument to the Western ideals of justice, democracy, and patriotism.”

Seth Frankel, Studio Tectonic

The Tenth Circuit Court took two years to complete, spending additional time during drafting to make sure that Studio Tectonic was completely comfortable with the fabrication to be done.

With a beautiful and highly educational exhibit, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is ready to welcome in the next wave of cases to hit their docket. Seth Frankel from Studio Tectonic kept it short when asked if the ACME fabricated the vision he had, simply saying: “For sure.”

We have another project in the works with Studio Tectonic, so keep an eye out for when our next collaboration gets underway!

Check out Studio Tectonic for more of your exhibit needs, they’re an incredible team that truly makes amazingly thoughtful designs and pieces.

If you want to hear more about the work at Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, or that ACME has done, send us an email at info@acmescenic.com or give us a call at 503.335.1400.