Thoughts, Facts, and More on the Bordeaux Law Courts

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.

Law Courts by Richard Rogers

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.

http://www.arcspace.com/features/richard-rogers-partnership/tribunal-de-grande-instance/

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.

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Thoughts, Facts, and More on the Bordeaux Law Courts

Photos of the Bordeaux Law Courts

Exterior Image at nightime
Bordeaux Law Courts at Nighttime

As you can see these pods are under a single undulating copper-covered roof

Courts under construction
Courts under construction

The court pods exterior are made of diagonally oriented cedar wood planks

Interior photo inside a courtroom
Interior photo inside a courtroom

Each courtroom is illuminated with a single small skylight at the top

Architectural Drawing #1
Side view of exterior structure

The courts structure has a low foundation. Also notice the courtrooms are suspended by steel struts connecting them to the ground

Site Plan of the structure
Site Plan of the structure

The courtrooms are parallel to the block of administration offices which connect directly to the courts, so movement from the public and magistrates are separate

Individual courtroom pod
Individual courtroom pod

The shape of each courtroom creates natural ventilation in addition to reduced air conditioning because each room is nearly halved in comparison to normal rooms of the same size

bordeaux law courts google map view

The courtrooms is the long silver rectangular building towards the bottom right of the image. The building is in the heart of the city, and most notably is located next to a cathedral. The courts replaced an old fortress which only remains are a small keep located near the courts

Photo Citations in Order of Appearance:

Kalsi, Amo. Bordeaux Law Courts. 2015. Bordeaux Law Courts. Bordeaux, France. rsh-p.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2015.

Unknown. Bordeaux Law Courts Construction. 2015. Bordeaux Law Courts. Bordeaux, France. rsh-p.com Web. 1 Feb. 2015.

Kalsi, Amo. Bordeaux Law Courts. 2015. Bordeaux Law Courts. Bordeaux, France. rsh-p.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2015.

Richard Rogers Partnership. 2015. Bordeaux Law Courts. Bordeaux, France. rsh-p.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2015

Richard Rogers Partnership. 2015. Bordeaux Law Courts. Bordeaux, France. rsh-p.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2015

Richard Rogers Partnership. 2015. Bordeaux Law Courts. Bordeaux, France. rsh-p.com. Web. 1 Feb. 2015

Photos of the Bordeaux Law Courts

Bordeaux Law Courts – Basic Facts

Hello all! For my scavenger hunt I have selected the Bordeaux Law Courts as the building I will ponder, analyze, and share my thoughts on. For starters, I will share some basic facts about these Law Courts with you. The building is located in Bordeaux, France and was designed by the famous British architect Richard Rogers. The building was constructed from 1992-1998 and was built for one main purpose – to serve as a unique place for law to be practiced, and illuminate the transparency of the French democratic system. This individual building is comprised of offices connected to 7 cone-shaped courtrooms inside a block of crystalline glass. In future posts I will share exterior and interior photos, as well as industry professional and my own thoughts on this structure!

Citations used throughout my research include:

Heseltine, Michael. Richard Rogers: Inside Out. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2013. Print.

Terranova, Antonio, Ciampaola Spirito, Sabrina Leone, Leone Spita. Ecostructures: Forms of Sustainable Architecture. Italy: White Star Publisher, 2009. Print.

“Tribunal de Grande Instance.” Arcspace.com. Danish Architecture Center, n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2015.

“Bordeaux Law Courts: Facts” rsh-p.com. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP. Web. 1 Feb. 2015

“Bordeaux Law Courts” structurae.com Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn Verlag. Web. 1 Feb. 2015

Bordeaux Law Courts – Basic Facts