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Arquitecturia completes Spanish law courts

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AJ Emerging Woman Architect 2013 Olga Felip’s practice has completed this Cor-ten clad law court in Girona, Spain

PROJECT DATA • PLANS • ELEVATIONS • ARCHITECT’S VIEW

Arquitecturia’s long-awaited €6.3 million project was won by competition in 2006 but was put on hold due to the country’s economic crisis.

Located in the old quarter of the city, the 3,874m2 building sits tightly within the area’s steep, narrow streets.

Its Cor-ten clad facade draws on the brown-red colour of the local geology.

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Architect’s view

The Law Court of Balaguer is located at the old quarter of the city. Balaguer is characterised by the brown-red chromatic of the geology – stone and earth - and a structure of extremely narrow and steep streets. The irregular morphology of the old quarter is well adapted to the rugged topography. 

There is a balance between the strict and high requirements of the brief and the irregular and complex reality of the site. Inside, a regular structure organises the internal spaces and program. Outside, the alignments, porches and urban traces shape the volume. In-between inside and outside, in-between program/type and site, there is a thick space of transition that deals with privacy, intimacy and modulates natural light. 

Materiality is explored to achieve a permeable architecture. From basic units, an assembly system is established that configures a new element. Industrialized elements are applied hand-craftily. The facade may seem very opaque from the distance outside, but when one gets closer inside, it becomes permeable. On the daylight, the facade is heavy and mute and at night comes it becomes lighter and permeable. Materiality is live and variable as it changes and responds to its context conditions.

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Project data

Location Balaguer, Girona, Spain
Type of project law court
Client Justice Department of Generalitat de Catalunya
Architect Arquitecturia: Josep Camps & Olga Felip
Structural engineer GMKgrup
M&E consultant JG&Asociados SA
Quantity surveyor Planas Casadevall (project stage) Alfons Pastor (construction stage)
Main contractor Acciona SA
Appointment first prize on competition organized by GISA + Department of Justice, 2008
Tender date 2006
Start on site date 2010
Completion date 2016
Gross internal floor area 3,874m2
Total cost €6,275,913

Location plan

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Ground floor plan

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Block plans

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Elevations

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

Balaguer Law Court by Arquitecturia

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