Imagine the Future - Bruxelles Courthouse

2011 - Bruxelles, Belgium - Competition

Justice: Everyone on the same floor

The impressive building of the Courthouse in Bruxelles is one of the biggest in the world. The objective of the competition was to identify new ideas to innovate its program (building?) while at the same time preserving its iconic value.

Before starting, it was important to debate the modern concept of Justice that emerges nowadays in contrast with the conception of Justice crystallized in the XIX century actual building.

Transparency, Accessibility versus Monumentality and Paternalism.

Our analysis focused on two scales: the relation with the urban landscape and the hierarchy of interior spaces. We promote the idea of continuity of the city inside the building. We introduced into it a new public square, an interchange junction between citizens and the Institution. Thus we concretely extend the public floor into the building turning it into a large slab that became an infrastructure both physical and immaterial, supporting technical and informational facilities.

We imagine this platform as a meeting place for democratic discussions, social relationships and collective life. This technological floor provides screen information about legal aspects and events agenda keeping an active relationship with citizens using personal mobile devices. Outside the floor becomes a plaza relating itself to the seasonal change through its technology, a comfortable surface producing refreshment or heating, including rainwater storage and solar panels.