Scheduled for completion in 2023, the scheme was originally selected from among several entries in the international competition for designing the Lille Courthouse. Used as a source of inspiration for the design, the unique site is situated near the historic fortifications of Vauban in the outskirts of Lille.
The Rotterdam-based leading firm envisions the Lille Courthouse as “a multifaceted building that is able to address a wide range of different elements from the city’s past and present.”
Designed in the form of a star with a geometric configuration, the old historic fortress was built in 1667 and was constructed by the military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban.
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The form of the building displays expressive geometries of ring-like hexagons and triangles with a central atrium.
Although most conventional courthouses are rather bulky and intimidating, the Lille courthouse has a colorful glass facade and skylight which allows for plenty of natural light in the interiors.
“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,” said the Rotterdam-based firm in a statement.
The triangular tower includes the small courtrooms and is attached to a ring form that accommodates offices. The ground level which is the largest volume includes the large courtrooms.
The Lille Courthouse is going to be OMA’s first project in Lille for more than 20 years. The OMA competition entry was chosen among other shortlisted proposals from French firms including Coldefy & Associés, Dominique Perrault Architecture, in addition to the Dutch firm Neutelings en Riedijk.