Courthouse of Béziers
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Courthouse of Béziers

Ateliers 2/3/4 as Architects

Protect, temper, illuminate Open on to the city by nature, more than any other, a public building is an urban component. It signifies, invites, brings the city alive. The court plays on the duality between the urban monumentality of a judicial institution and the serenity necessary to handle delicate cases that affect people's lives. Between stacks of three layers of rock, as stone blocks in a quarry, extends a landscaped oasis that filters the light, tempers the atmosphere and links the areas accessible to the public. The voids qualify the solids: at each level, projections and patios locate between the blocks. The stepped masses encourage the light to enter, creating internal landscapes to protect the premises from any intrusive view. As such, security of the facades and confidentiality are provided with ease.


Monochrome, through its irregularities, bubbles, scratches and bumps, the sandblasted and hammered concrete gives strength and thickness to a rustic material. A symbol of justice, the parvis is here the antechamber, the introduction, the sheltered outside institution; open to urban life it soothes, protects and welcomes.


Softened, serene, comfort light Voids open between the rocks to form light wells and crevices, terraces and patios; sources of light. This compact device provides a temperate climate within, an indoor environment marked by transparency and the play of light. The atmosphere modulates with the seasons in accordance with the need for protection from the sun or for it to enter the space.


The transparency of the lobbies gives glimpses to the central patio shadow garden planted with tree ferns, that distributes and links the public waiting areas and courtrooms.


Built-in furniture within public areas and the office furniture have been designed to ensure the comfort and modernity of reception and work areas. By its formal and constructive sobriety, each detail contributes to the perception of the sensuality of the materials and the comfort of the building, to contribute to a serene justice.

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