Bordeaux Law Courts

Following a competition stage, RRP was commissioned by the French Ministry of Justice to design new law courts for the city of Bordeaux that would emphasise, through a feeling of transparency and openness, a positive perception of the accessibility of the French justice system. The brief called for nine civil and criminal courts, administrative offices and a large public space, the Salle des Pas Perdus, leading to all the courtrooms.

The site is located in the heart of the historic core of Bordeaux, near the medieval cathedral and forming a backdrop to the imposing Neo-Calssical Palais de Justice facing the Place de la République. The presence of a stretch of the medieval city wall, complete with medieval towers, and an existing law school from the 1970s provided tight and challenging boundary conditions.


Project data
Location Bordeaux, France
Uses Category Civic
Dates 1992 - 1998
Gross Internal Area 25,000m²
Number of Floors 5
Construction Cost £27,000,000
Client Ministère de la Justice &
  Tribunal de Grande Instance  
The Architect Richard Rogers Partnership
Stephen Barrett, Elliot Boyd, Mike Davies, Pascale Gibon, Marco Goldschmied, Lennart Grut, Philip Gumuchdjian, Jackie Hands, Ivan Harbour, Avery Howe, Eric Jaffrès, Amarjit Kalsi, Stig Larsen, Carmel Lewin, Avtar Lotay, Annette Main, Sophie Nguyen, Tamiko Onozawa, Louise Palomba, Kim Quazi, Richard Rogers, Dan Sibert, Simon Smithson, John Young
Acoustic Consultant Sound Research Laboratories
Cladding Consultant Rice Francis Ritchie
Landscape Architect Dan Kiley / Edward Hutchison / Branch Associates
Lighting Consultant Lighting Design Partnership
Main Contractor Spie Citra Midi Atlantique
Quantity Surveyor Interfaces, Ingèrop
Services Engineer OtH Sud-Ouest / Ove Arup & Partners
Site Management OtH Sud-Ouest
Structural Engineer Ove Arup & Partners / OtH Sud-Ouest