mecanoo has teamed up with engineering firm ayesa to complete a new courthouse in southern spain. serving the city of córdoba, the new palace of justice is located in a neighborhood dominated by anonymous housing blocks — products of the rapid urban development of 21st century spanish cities. ‘the addition of a public institution to the area creates the opportunity to upgrade the public realm and add a civic quality to this relatively new neighborhood,’ says the design team.


all images © fernando alda | video © mecanoo

 

 

importantly, mecanoo and ayesa elevated the structure two meters above street level, a gesture that solves problems of privacy and security, while giving ‘symbolic power to the building’. as the palace is divided into independent departments, several entrances were required. this means that visitors can obtain access either from the main square or via smaller patios placed along the other three sides of the institution.


the building serves the southern spanish city of córdoba

 

 

from the main entrance, the interior’s organization is immediately recognizable. a central spine, which connects the various programs, spans through several floors across the length of the building, articulating each department. this primary route also links the public circulation with the exterior patios. the spine echoes the architectural language of the exterior massing, with multi-level day-lit voids creating sculptural atriums.


the structure is elevated two meters above street level

 

 

the palace of justice features an open ground floor that contains the most public areas of the building such as courtrooms, marriage registry, and a restaurant. meanwhile, high security offices are situated off the upper courtyards, while the archives and jail cells are found below ground.
 the project features ‘vertical fractures’, which have been introduced to create patios that relate to the region’s local courtyard typologies. these voids also help provide natural light and ventilation throughout the design.


voids help provide natural light and ventilation throughout the design


the building is located in a neighborhood dominated by anonymous housing blocks


the courthouse can be accessed via a number of different entrances


the institution features a distinctively patterned façade


the interior is organized around a central spine


interior spaces appear brightly lit, despite the lack of windows


the ground floor contains the most public areas of the building


high security offices are situated off the upper courtyards


an aerial view of the building, shown in relation to the historic city center

 

 

project info:

 

size: 48,000 sqm
project design: 2006
project realization: 2014 – 2017

address: calle isla mallorca, calle isla formentera, calle isla gomera, calle cantabrico, córdoba, spain

promoter / owner / developer: consejería de justicia e interior (junta de andalucía).
program: courthouse with 26 courtrooms, a wedding room, a forensic institute, offices, a cafe, an archive, a prison and a parking garage

 


design team: mecanoo + ayesa
architects: mecanoo architecten + ayesa
consultants: ayesa (energy efficiency), ayesa (structural engineer), ayesa (mechanical engineering), ayesa (electrical engineer), ayesa (lighting), ayesa (fire safety), ayesa (roof and façade), ute isolux corsán-copcisa (contractor)

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news