Palace Of Justice
Can such a large building refer distinctly to the old city of Córdoba, and its unique history, without literally imitating it?
Spain’s rapid urbanization has created districts in Córdoba consisting of anonymous housing blocks and nondescript zones of public space. The new Palace of Justice, with twenty-six courtrooms, a Forensic Institute and public facilities is located at the edge of the city in such a residential district.
To achieve the building massing plan, the architects pursued a strategy of integration through fragmentation by fitting the required volumes, including its patios, into sections taken from the street plan of the old city.
The many patios endow the large building with a strong identity that suits the climate of Andalusia and Córdoba’s Moorish character, as well as providing light and ventilation in adjacent rooms.
Because of the compact organisation of the building space is left over for a large, slightly sloping square, that provides the building with a clear entrance.
The courtrooms, wedding room and restaurant, representing the most public part, are at the entrance level. The archives and prison cells are located below grade, the the secured offices on the upper patios.
The building is set on a plinth with the exterior perforated facades refering to the traditional architecture of Córdoba. A gossamer-thin pattern filters the light and absorbs the heat. The patio walls are clad in different color ceramic panels in different color ceramic panels to contrast with the other facades.
Mecanoo won the international competition in March 2006.