Palace of Justice: A Sculpted Public Institution in a New Neighborhood of Cordoba

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Palace of Justice was constructed by Mecanoo as the new addition in the relatively new neighborhood of Cordoba. Located in Arroyo del More, the building blends with characteristically anonymous housing blocks which are known as the products of the rapid urban development of 21st-century Spanish cities.

The Palace of Justice

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Although the blocks that characterize the zone’s urban fabric could not generate public space or offer something new to the city, they eventually form a compact and coherent urban identity.

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What’s more, the existence of a public institution in Cordoba offers the chance to enhance the public realm and add a civic quality to the new neighborhood.

Sculpted Volume

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The massing strategy establishes urban integration via fragmentation.

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It bears a similarity to the spontaneous growth process of medieval cities, creating a volume that is thoroughly sculpted to mingle with the surrounding context.

Recognizable Interior Organization

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Even from the main entrance, the interior organization can be recognized easily. A central spine helps create a circulation axis that connects to a number of programs available in the building. This space expands toward several floors across the length of the building and emphasizes each department. It also connects the public circulation with the exterior patios.

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Meanwhile, the spine reflects the architectural language of the exterior massing with multi-level day-lit voids, creating sculptural atriums throughout the Palace of Justice.

The Internal Functions

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Focusing on the internal functions, they are more private and located on the upper floor of the building.

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At the level of the square, the courthouse provides an open ground floor containing the most public sections like marriage registry, courtrooms, and restaurant.

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High-security offices are located off the upper courtyards while the archives and jail cells are below ground level.

Via Mecanoo