Here is a link to a cool video depicting the construction of the building. I find it most interesting that the courtrooms are above ground level held up by struts connecting them to the ground.
Check out this Flickr! One thing I took away from it is that there are 6 courtrooms behind the glass box with the 7th courtroom in open air. The meaning was to show transparency as well as accessibility with the French court system.
Here is an interesting article on Richard Rogers and the Bordeaux Law Courts. One important thing I have learned from this article is that magistrates and judges enter the courtrooms from bridges connected to their offices while the public enters through the main doors. I would agree with the author that this further separates the “served” and “servee” and is reinforces a traditional courtroom in which the judge and public are separate.
The book “Richard Rogers: Inside Out” casts some light on the symbolic meanings of the Bordeaux Law Courts. There are three important things I have learned from it. 1) The bridges overhead connecting the courtrooms to office space shows the everyday and constant movement of lawyers, representing the law with all it’s hierarchies in action. 2) The concrete walkways and breezeways give the building a certain flow which is symbolic to how mobile the French society is. 3) Rogers structure has a hint of Classicism which has been growing less popular. However, Rogers built this structure knowingly and it should be recognized for its populist influences.
The book “Ecostructures: Forms of Sustainable Architecture” helps to stir some thoughts of my own on this structure. 1) The courtrooms were designed to imitate a Boeing motor. Does the French public know this or understand how the building connects to their industry? 2) The courts replaced an old fortress that used to be in the heart of the city. Did the construction of this building take away a piece of history from the French or merely add to the already rich architecture in the area? 3) The courtrooms were designed to be naturally ventilated and energy efficient. Was the design of these rooms meant for functionality purposes (ventilation) or was that just one perk of having the rooms look like eggs?
Citations of Videos, Photos, and Articles:
Stoddart, Jim. “GSAPP – Bordeaux Law Courts” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 16 Dec. 2011. Web. 1 Feb. 2015.
Burgess, Andrew. Bordeaux Law Courts. 2007. Bordeaux Law Courts. Bordeaux, France. flickr.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2015.
“Tribunal de Grande Instance.” Arcspace.com. Danish Architecture Center, n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2015.