The new Paris courthouse is planned as a Reflection. On the one hand it mirrors the existing Freyssinet Hall, becoming a horizontal monument ‘flying’ on top of that preserved edifice, celebrating its history; on the other it is an urban ‘Reflection’, a thoughtful reconsideration of the contemporary condition of public space within the city, Paris in this case.
Both meanings, aspire to represent French Justice. At the architectural level, the reflecting slab balances over the antique edifice and a new plaza. It is an expression of equilibrium, stability, moderation, respect. At the masterplan level, justice is represented by masses that will inhabit the new large public arena: a green gridded open plaza where people can gather, discuss, manifest. While the building avoids touching the ground, the housing frames the plaza’s edge limits and permeates the Parisian community. The master plan proposes an outline for people and greenery.
Clearly stratified, frame, green and monument become the urban layers. At the architectural level, the lower floor of the existing hall allocates public areas; service zones are displayed at the mezzanine level; tertiary areas distribute within the new horizontal monument of Justice.