Out of four finalists, OMA had the winning proposal for the new Palais de Justice courthouse in Lille, marking the firm's first project in the city in over 20 years since the Euralille district masterplan (1989) and the Congrexpo exhibition center (1994). Commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, the courthouse will be located near the former fortifications of the French military engineer Vauban, on the outskirts of town.
Led by OMA's Ellen van Loon and Rem Koolhaas, the courthouse's scheme features a colorful, multi-faceted building that will house Lille's high court and district court. The base of the building will contain the public and major courtrooms, with a “ring of offices floating above it”, OMA describes. A triangular tower rising from the heart of the building will house smaller courtrooms.
According to the firm, “the interiors of each of the building's components are conceived to make all the procedures of justice accessible, even inviting, free of the intimidation that has traditionally been the main characteristic of the architecture of justice.” The project is currently scheduled for a 2023 completion.
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