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Ignacio Prego Architectures : Palais de justice

Commissioned to build the new Pointe-à-Pitre Courthouse in Guadeloupe (97), the agency Ignacio Prego Architectures offers a contemporary reinterpretation of the ancestral symbolism of the judicial space. Architects indeed explore the notions of stability, measure and justice through the creation of an architecture of controlled balance echoing the current legislative world. Zoom on a referenced architecture.

Near the sea, in the center of the city, stands the new Law Courts in Pointe-à-Pitre. After seven years of work, Ignacio Prego Architectures delivers a functional building, combining simplicity and moderation, which desecrates the authority of the classic courthouse with the aim of modernizing the judicial area and making it more accessible to citizens of the Canton.

"A familiar and practical building to reconcile citizens with the authority of the judiciary", Ignacio Prego, architect

Neither spectacular nor monumental, the building unfolds horizontally over the urban space so as to create a symbolic continuity between the public space and the judicial institution. By its location, its spatial organization, its volume and its materiality, the courthouse presents itself as a confidential entity, but open to the city.

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The new Pointe-à-Pitre Courthouse brings together in one building all the services of the tribunal de grande instance, formerly dispersed in the city. It now houses a reception, three public hearing rooms, four cabinet hearing rooms, offices, archive and seal rooms, secure spaces, kept expectations, a room for the lost and several relaxation areas.

From the outside, the palace sparkles. The glass facades, walls and roofs are punctuated by gilded aluminum slats in anodized finish, elegant sunshades, which guarantee dim natural light and the privacy necessary for the functioning of such an institution. A refined façade, which conceals, behind the lightness of its envelope, a reinforced concrete structure and a metal frame - placed above spaces open to the public - resistant to earthquakes and shocks caused by a tropical cyclone.

A contemporary courthouse which dust off the secular codes of judicial architecture.

For more information, visit the Ignacio Prego Architectures website

Photographs: Luc Boegly

Léa Pagnier

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