Reduced to what’s necessary

Reduced to what’s necessary

Ciutat de la Justicia

Chipperfield’s law district in Barcelona can’t be called nice really, but it suits the occasion.

Concrete in a deliberately cage-like box shape – no way the nine buildings of the new Barcelona law district, designed by David Chipperfield together with Spanish architect Fermín Vázquez, could have been realized in a more drastic fashion. The ashlars, broken up by narrow passages and arranged towards the street in the form of a quite fortifying appearing curve, are impressive. This impression from afar cannot be softened by the color pigmentation of the individual buildings each held in monochrome blue, yellow, green, red, or even pink. However, the benefit of this ensemble is beyond dispute: Where court rooms, cells for the inmates and administrative buildings used to be scattered across the city, making efficient working difficult, you will now find up to 15 floors high complexes, partly connected with each other, along Gran Via Barcelonas – compact and efficient. Chipperfield has created the connection of four buildings through a five-floor, cleverly integrated atrium, which seems to be floating. Here, the (free) visitor has reached the heart of the law district and comes to terms with the impact of the first impression, from an architectural point of view at least ...

Order comes first

Chipperfield’s brute architecture is very daunting: Its façades consisting of countless loopholes arranged in an upright manner definitely remind of that law and order cannot be perverted. The four buildings, situated centrally through their curved arrangement, each house court rooms on the first floor. The atrium connecting them has the task of a filter or a catalyzer and welcomes and dismisses its visitors at the beginning and the end their stay. The other buildings house law-related services. A forensic institute, two commercial buildings and rooms for the employees can be found on the premises. At least inside the narrow light ribbons create, when touched by sunlight, an appealing, gracefully looking, fan-like floor mosaic – a pleasant contrast to the heaviness outside. What Chipperfield also did inside was using the concrete color of the outside for the pillars, something which also loosens up things.

Made to last quite a Bit

240,000 m3 ofconcrete the construction workers mixed on location from 2002 through 2009, so the architects were able to check the color immediately. Another advantage of material pigmenting compared with painting: The character of the building material concrete remains unchanged. No maintenance required through light fastness is also part of the game – even with Spain’s strong sun. Thus, the law district is designed to last long. Depending on the perspective, Ciutat de la Justicia is a landmark of justice – or a reminder to change your life for the better ...

Further projects in Barcelona…

Project details


David Chipperfield Architects, London, UK


Completed in 2009


GFA 241,500 m², spread across 9 buildings; 330,000 m² plot area


GISA, Departament de Justicia


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admin's picture
admin 11. May 2012 - 16:29


admin's picture
admin 11. May 2012 - 17:12

david chipperfield :D

clodymony's picture
clodymony 7. December 2014 - 11:01

These buildings are solid and have a great architecture. Even if they have plenty of space for offices they still need some warehousing facilities. This is why when it comes to warehouse it should be recommended to request some specialized services from

modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 7. January 2015 - 13:56

The design is indeed quite innovative and the buildings are looking so unique. The architect has made good use of space here, however, if they need more area then they could conduct a remodeling work in future. Sometimes due to flood or some other such reason properties get damaged, in such situations it is better to hire service provider who offers water damage and restoration in Castle Rock and in other areas.

jessymiller744's picture
jessymiller744 7. January 2015 - 16:53

Architecturally speaking, this law district looks very modern and professional. Having the court rooms, the cells for the inmates and administrative buildings all in one place it's an advantage. However, most people are interested in finding quality services, like these on that will lead to solving their legal issues, rather then the architecture of the court room.

modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 7. March 2015 - 10:18

This has indeed been a brilliant design and the use of so many different colors has lend it a wonderful look. However, before using any kind of material in your building you have to make sure that it is safe. If you are planning on using asbestos then hire a company that offers remediation services in Louisiana.

modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 10. March 2015 - 11:33

They have indeed come up with a beautiful design here which is simply breathtaking. However, in any building roofing is a vital part, so make sure that you get good roofing materials for your house. If you need sheet metal roofing then you can find that at

prabirbanik82's picture
prabirbanik82 17. March 2015 - 11:20

This entire area is looking so colorful now and instead of looking imposing the buildings here look absolutely pretty. However, these days many people prefer building their own houses to suit their specific requirements. If you too want to build your dream home as per your imagination then you should hire a skilled custom home builder in Dallas TX.

modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 21. March 2015 - 11:46

The buildings do look imposing although they have been beautifully painted in these lovely colors. However, the summer is almost here so now the homeowners have to make efforts to make their home comfortable for the season. It would be better to examine the heating and cooling system of your house by hiring a good HVAC company like Fire & Ice Heating and Air which you can find at

prabirbanik82's picture
prabirbanik82 22. April 2015 - 10:39

These buildings look so colorful, these have a very neat and clear design. However, commercial buildings need special category of decor items and furniture. There are good online stores around where one can find such items. Moduform is one such store which offers exclusive furniture for the library.

kevinosbern's picture
kevinosbern 16. July 2015 - 6:36

Actually it is a cool design that can be given to a law district. This is classier and different colors given to the building helps people to recognize the buildings exactly without any fail. I like it more than any other funky designs. IT managed services Hawaii

kevinosbern's picture
kevinosbern 25. August 2015 - 9:26

I am not a big fan of these things. But I know this that this project is going to be a Disability Training
big success and it is definitely going to help a million people. And that is exactly what is important right now.

kevinosbern's picture
kevinosbern 1. December 2015 - 12:40

Isn't this project over. It is been some time since I have been here. I post graduate diploma in nursing think they should have been completed by now. Well someone please update about the completion of the project.