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City of Justice Barcelona & L’Hospitalet de Llobregat / b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos + David Chipperfield

  • Architects: b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, David Chipperfield
  • Location: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 111, 08014 Barcelona, Spain
  • Architect In Charge: David Chipperfield, Fermín Vázquez
  • David Chipperfield Architects Team: David Chipperfield, Grabielle Allam, Motohisa Arai, Tomomi Araki, Albert Arraut, Mario Cotone, Luca Donadoni, Martín Eglin, Takayuki Nakajima, Andrew Philips, Giuseppe Sirica, Melisssa Johnston
  • B720 Team: Fermín Vázquez, Pep Aviles, Antonio Buendía, Sonia Cruz, Albert Freixes, Francesc De Fuentes, Ileana Garcia, Yolanda Roma, Guillermo Weinskal, Ricardo Shultz, Carlos Fragoso, Francisco Marques
  • Contractor: U.T.E. Ciudad de la Justicia (Fomento, Ferrovial, Ohl, Comapa y Emte)
  • Structures: Brufau, Obiol, Moya i Associats: Agustí Obiol, Jane Wernick Associates: Jane Wernick
  • Client: GISA, Departament de Justicia (Generalitat de Catalunya)
  • Promotor: GISA, Departament de Justicia (Generalitat de Catalunya)
  • Services: Grupo JG Ingenieros Consultores: Joan Gallostra, Arup: Andrew Sedgwick
  • Lighting Consultant: Artecluminotecnia: Maurici Ginés, Arup: Florence Lam, Bob Venning
  • Façade Consultant: Biosca & Botey: Xavier Farrés, Estudio Marshall: Guillermo Marshall
  • Landscape Consultant: Manuel Colominas, Wirtz International: Nico Mortier, Juan Remon, Peter Wirtz
  • Urban Planning Consultant: Estudi Acústic H. Arau: Higini Arau
  • Acoustics Consultant: Estudi Acústic H. Arau: Higini Arau
  • Digital Images: Carlos Pascual; David Chipperfield Architects, b720 Arquitectos, Javier Piedra, Studio Toni Yli-Suvanto
  • Interior Models: b720 Arquitectos, David Chipperfield Architects, Miquel Llunch, Matthew Marchbank, Vista Models
  • Area: 0.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Christian Richters, Joan Argelés

© Joan Argelés © Joan Argelés © Joan Argelés © Christian Richters

    Previously, the various legal departments of the governments of Barcelona and l’Hospitalet were scattered in 17 buildings 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 as well as provide reserve space for future growth.

© Joan Argelés
© Joan Argelés

The site is at the border of the two cities of Barcelona and l’Hospitalet on a site which was previously a military barracks. It is located adjacent to both Gran Via, a major access route into the centre of Barcelona from the south, and Carrilet, an artery leading to l’Hospitalet. The position provides optimum accessibility to the city and major metropolitan routes, on both public and private transport.

© Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

The principle proposition of the project breaks down the massive programme requirements (330,000 sqm) into a series of separate but interrelated blocks on a public plaza, giving a spatial composition that attempts to break the rigid and monolithic image of justice. The proposal also attempts to provide equilibrium to the relationships between the different working areas, public areas and landscape.

© Joan Argelés
© Joan Argelés

A group of four large judicial buildings are situated around the perimeter of a linking concourse building. They generally contain courtrooms at ground floor and a further three floors. All of these floors are accessed directly from the concourse building which acts as a filter. The concourse building also gathers people at the start and completion of their judicial visit within a central public room, which overlooks the exterior plaza.

© Joan Argelés
© Joan Argelés

Four other independent buildings comprise a judicial services building for l’Hospitalet, a forensic sciences building and two commercial buildings with retail facilities at ground floor. A further building is planned to contain both residential and commercial retail activities.

© Joan Argelés
© Joan Argelés

All eight buildings are conceived as formally restrained blocks with load bearing coloured concrete ‘cage’ facades. Each building has a different and contrasting, although muted colour tone. The concourse building has a more free form plan with deep exposed concrete slabs and woven mesh screens in front of frameless glazing. The project includes the desin of all public, courtroom and office interiors.

© Joan Argelés
© Joan Argelés
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"City of Justice Barcelona & L’Hospitalet de Llobregat / b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos + David Chipperfield" 27 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/61643/city-of-justice-barcelona-l%25e2%2580%2599hospitalet-de-llobregat-david-chipperfield-b720/>