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

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

  • 01:00 - 27 May, 2010
City of Justice Barcelona & L’Hospitalet de Llobregat / b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos + David Chipperfield
City of Justice Barcelona & L’Hospitalet de Llobregat / b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos + David Chipperfield, © Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

© Joan Argelés © Joan Argelés © Joan Argelés © Christian Richters +32

  • Architects

  • 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

    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 . <>
Read comments


mark · March 25, 2012


How do I contact city of justice by email? I am from Singapore Subordinate Courts and we would like to visit the city of justice, Barcelona. Thank you.

Mark Khng

This is Concrete · October 19, 2011

Lanxess used at City of Justice, Barcelona, designed by David Chipperfield Architects #visualconf

George · April 06, 2011

Wow I&#39m loving this latest Chipperfield project, the Spaniards know how to build big!

anette · August 03, 2010

oh my god, looks like an airport or a subway with those signs on the pictures. i was in shock at first, but I also see the connection to the "obey the law and order"-thing, but hey: its people who will be working here! human envirnoment?

funny how the interior reminds me of sci-fi movies. and that, in deed, i love about this building!

M · May 28, 2010


Nils · June 01, 2010 12:00 PM

The building look static but when you get close you understand that it is a complex and inter connected environment. I visited the City of Justice last week and I am sure this project will be accepted more and more by the people through time

mike · May 28, 2010

boring and cold....architecture must inspire.... i feel sorry
for the poor people who have to look at this for the next 100 years....

Alexander · May 28, 2010

bland,shades of grays and browns. standard shapes.

norm · May 27, 2010

it reminds me the spaces in Giorgio de Chirico paintings, and the public space has an elegant and authoritarian character, which is very appropriate. from far they look static and simple but when you get close you understand that it is a complex and inter connected environment. they are well crafted buildings and i think they will be accepted more and more by the people through time, which is the real strength of Chipperfield's architecture.

kc · May 27, 2010

it almost seems utopian but the fact that it is real, is a bit scary...though I'd not want to be there it is very oppressive, I wonder what it is like for someone working there everyday, how would it shape their heart and mind?

Richie · May 27, 2010

I've seen this before and didn't really understand the approach.. It feels like a blandly tasteful take on a bunch of 1960s office towers. If you're trying to break the monolothic image of justice, why do it by creating a series of slightly smaller monoliths? It seems to have a curious mix of anonymity and oppressiveness.

aston79 · May 27, 2010

outside it's look like speer!!! inside it's a bit too cold.

urbane.abuse · May 27, 2010

Well, that hall has a panopticon flair - an uneasy feeling.

somebody · May 27, 2010

elegantly boring

norm · May 27, 2010 07:38 PM

architecture is not entertainment business. sometimes it can be cold and austere, if it has a good reason for it.

DLC · May 27, 2010

I read it literally yelling "there has to be order!",
"obey or get the hell outta here!".

implies an incurious and inhumane apparatus without any interest in individuals.


Gerry Grid · May 27, 2010

This looks, very, very cold, and unpersonal. The jugdes will be really inspired to sentence pelople to spend many, many years in jail!


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© Christian Richters

巴塞罗那司法城 / David Chipperfield