Client: Regione Siciliana
Status: Competition (2020)
Location: Catania, Italy
Coordinates: 37.510618, 15.103028
Climate: Temperate, Mediterranean
Materials: Concrete, Glass
Environments: Seaside, Urban
Budget: 25.992.540 €
Scale: 15.000 ㎡ Large
Ratio: 1.732,84 €/㎡
Types: Administrative center, Institutional
The project has the ambitious goal of giving back to the city a new urban centrality, livable all day long, to trigger new urban and social dynamics.
To achieve this goal, the building of the new Courthouse has been placed in the center of the plot, creating an urban park all around it.
All the offices and functions of the new Courthouse are grouped in a single building, articulated volumetrically and functionally in three elements: the basement, the elevated terraces and the suspended volume.
The basement is designed to be in direct contact and in continuity with the external space, connecting visually and spatially the city and the sea and creating a large agora of the court. The terraces of the first level are designed to be a space halfway between the inside and the outside, also open to the public, from where is it possible to enjoy the panorama. The suspended volume constitutes the core of the court and is characterized by large vertical cuts in the facade and by a large central void of conical shape.
The subtractions in the volume allows the light to pervade every room and relate all the floors and the large atrium to the outside. The voids generated in the facade become external hanging gardens. The internal void, the large central elliptical shaped hall («a green vulcan») encloses the power of justice inside but at the same time is perfectly visible and transparent to the outside thanks to the use of glass.
The façade system, with brise-soleil to filter the light and create the right thermal and environmental comfort and the right lighting of the offices, generates a continuous rhythm of abstractions between full and empty spaces, while the light determines the transparency and an ever-changing appearance.
The whole realizes a project harmoniously embedded in the context, all-round livable, with multiple new points of view and connections that did not exist before.