Justice Campus Access Building

International Competition | Mention

Madrid. Spain | 2008

Madrid Campus of Justice

The proposal can be understood as the search for a symbol. A built symbol whose presence, both inside and out, evokes the importance of an urban-functional complex as unique in kind as the Campus it is part of. Apart from providing maximum efficiency to the occupants of the building, the goal is, ultimately, to achieve a monumental, immemorial, and representative building. Consequently, the proposal is an architecture articulated around a totally vacant space resulting from a sculptural exercise. A readily accessible building-lobby treated as one excavated from a body whose mission is to explain, metaphorically, the democratic values the Campus represents. 

On this foundation, the cylinder takes over as the enveloping geometric form and orthogonality is adopted as the canonical strategy for the configuration of the project. The different spaces which accommodate the multiple functions of the building and its complex traffic patterns are joined to greater or lesser degree around the central void. The working strategy has generated an “interior ring” of a square floor plan which articulates all the vertical and horizontal communications as well as the patios, floor nodes and restrooms. The auditorium is on the first floor, as well as the all-purpose rooms, all of them equipped with representative entries through a staircase which remembers mechanisms of buildings such as the Garnier Opera or theatrical sets like those of Adolphe Appia. 

The exterior material treatment, two enveloping glass structures –transparent and translucent–, eliminates any scalar reference and constitutes a mysterious changing surface that insinuates the internal activity of the building, giving a duality of transparency-opaqueness to the skin and helping to underscore its figurative and consciously disoriented condition.

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