Palácio de Justiça de Gouveia
by Barbosa & Guimarães

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Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Photographer José Campos has sent us these photographs of the recently completed law courts in Gouveia, Portugal, by architects Barbosa & Guimarães.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Located between two parks, The Gouveia Law Courts are set upon four chunky pillars.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

The courts are accessed by a wide central staircase that brings visitors from the plaza into the heart of the building.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

This stairwell is open to the sky and framed by the faceted concrete walls of the surrounding building.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

The registrars' offices are located in a courtyard below this staircase.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Internally, the courtroom is naturally lit through a series of skylights and offices overlook the park to the north.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

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Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Here are some more details from the architects:


Palácio de Justiça de Gouveia 2002 - 2011

Gouveia, door for entry to the Serra da Estrela, is going to be served by new Law Courts. The land set aside for construction is located between the public gardens, at the end of the Rampa do Monte do Calvário, replacing an existing building. The project takes advantage of the demolition of the existing building, which occupied the whole of the plot, to design a new Plaza, with a scale and dignity to receive the Law Courts.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

In dialogue with the granite walls that define its surroundings, the Plaza takes on the form of a bottling of stone, upon which the Law Courts rest.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

The building, set on four pillars, ensures transparency and connection between the two gardens that delimit it to the north and the south.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

The dignity and symbolism that a building like the Law Courts should always have is achieved at the cost of the monolithic and singular character that the volume of white concrete acquires, above all in the expression of its compact elevations, with empty spaces deeply excavated, as if suspended over the Plaza.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

A staircase of generous proportions opening onto a patio honours access to the Court floor.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

The lobby/foyer crosses longitudinally the entirety of the building, communicating directly with the garden to the north, establishing a relationship of closeness with the tops of the existing trees through a horizontal empty space.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

In the volume, the courtroom stands out, with a set of vertical skylights that subtly light the whole space.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

The registrars services, which operate independently, are installed in the filled part of the building, open to an interior patio which communicates directly with the north garden.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

The project foresees a public car park, hidden under the plaza, with access from the adjacent streets.

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Ficha Técnica

Local: Gouveia
Dono da obra: Instituto de gestão financeira e infraestruturas da justiça

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Concurso: 2002
Projecto: 2002 - 2004
Obra: 2008 - 2011

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Arquitectura: Barbosa & Guimarães, José António Barbosa, Pedro Lopes Guimarães
Colaboradores: Miguel Pimenta, Cristina Chicau, Henrique Dias, José Marques, Luís Monteiro, Paula Fonseca, Susana Machado, Teresa Aroso, Raul Andrade, Pablo Rebelo

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Estabilidade e estruturas: Alberto Teixeira
Empresa construtora: José Coutinho s.a.
Instalações hidráulicas: Luis Veloso
Instalações eléctricas: Rga. Paulo Oliveira
Instalações de rede de gás: Rga . Arnaldo Monteiro
Director de obra: Rafael Luzio
Instalações de avac: Rga . Arnaldo Monteiro

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarãesv

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

Judicial Court by Barbosa & Guimarães

  • http://www.facebook.com/ganea.adrian Ganea Adrian

    Very nice inerior space and very nice windows!

  • yuc

    An artful form, good lighting, nice plans and sections. Congrats!

    But that indecisive balance between the white stucco walls and wood clad surfaces in the courtroom is just out of the place.

  • amsam

    I appreciate the 70's-brutalism throwback, but for me today transparency would be a better image for law courts than weight.

    • yuc

      People usually say that, but I wonder how we can build a transparent law court in, say, Dubai or Delhi without having a tremendous AC power?

  • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

    There's a serene majesty to the project that still successfully retains a human scale —which is vital for the building's purpose.

  • Edd

    Brutalism lives! Love aspects of it, but not so sure about the vast public space under the building mass to be honest

  • Vasco

    As architect I speak against my own interest when i say this is Outrageous. Though the architecture is beautiful (many congrats to the architects), this country is in risk of defaulting, the IMF and the ECB are in charge of structural reforms, and we shouldn't be spending this kind of money on public buildings. It must work as a Court, period. Such a monumental gesture should be a plus only affordable for countries with budgetary surpluses, not blatant deficits as we do.

    • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      So leaving beautiful architecture only for corporate buildings and millionaire residences? There has to be a 3rd way.

      Having said that… I'm Mexican, and I'm among the many outraged by the lavish expenditure made by the Senate on their plush new headquarters —but in that project the prices skyrocketed mainly due to the site location (the structure had to be highly reinforced to sustain the tower) and the materials chosen, like imported European furniture for the offices.