City of Justice

Barcelona (España)
GISA + Departament Justicia
Gross Area
232.369 m²
David Chipperfield Architects


Currently, the various departments of justice of Barcelona and LDBC##1Hospitalet de Llobregat are scattered in 17 buildings placed across the two cities, with functional frustrations for both users and employees. A new conjoined City of Justice will improve efficiency and allow working spaces to adapt and absorb the constant transformation of the judicial body along with reserve space for future growth.
The site is at the border of the two cities of Barcelona and lDBC##1Hospitalet de Llobregat on a site which was previously a military barracks. It is located adjacent to both Gran Via, a major access route into the center of Barcelona, and Carrilet, an artery leading to lDBC##1Hospitalet. The position provides optimum accessibility to the city and major metropolitan routes, on both public and private transport. The most significant proposition breaks up the massive program requirements (241.519,92 m2) into a series of separate but inter-related buildings on a public plaza, giving a spatial composition that attempts to break the rigid and monolithic image of justice.
This proposal also attempts to provide equilibrium to the relationships between the different working areas, public areas and landscape. A group of the six main judicial buildings are situated around the perimeter of a top-lit atrium building and generally contain courtrooms at ground floor and three further floors. All of these floors are accessed directly from the atrium, which acts as a filter. The eleven independent buildings are restrained blocks with load bearing concrete cage facades. The concrete will be colored with an exposed aggregate finish.
The atrium building has a more free form plan with 1 meter deep exposed concrete slabs and woven mesh shading screens in front of frame-less glazing. The atrium roof will have two meter deep section concrete beams as a shading system over the main public room for the complex.