Montpellier Courthouse

law court - Montpellier - entry square law court - Montpellier - main public hall law court - Montpellier - study superposed on a site photography law court - Montpellier - airial view law court - Montpellier - semi circular exterior patio law court - Montpellier - court room law court - Montpellier - architect's tribute to the 500 persons who collaborated to built the law court law court - Montpellier - public access law court - Montpellier - one of the public circulations law court - Montpellier - competition study - main room and court room law court - Montpellier -  transparencies toward the entrance court - the library - the Peyrou garden beyond law court - Montpellier - ground floor plan law court - Montpellier - main public hall law court - Montpellier - project diagramatic explanation - from concept to design law court - Montpellier - height limitation imposed with the respect to the Peyrou garden law court - Montpellier - public circulation separated from the wall, allowing natural daylight to filter below law court - Montpellier - transparency toward the main court law court - Montpellier - study - one of the court rooms - light from above which signifies a "presence"


Data sheet

Client: French Ministry of Justice
Surface area: 13,000m²
Construction costs: 30 million €
Design contest: 1992
Start of construction: 1992
Delivery: 1996
Project Manager: Bruno Augry
Associate Project architect: Garcia Diaz and Jean Planes
Landscaping: Liliane Grunig
Tribel Lighting: Georges Berne
Engineering: INGEROP SEEE



District Court
Regional Court


The design brief

Enrich the neighborhood by the design of a building that reflects the character of the legal institution.
Create an open and clear space in which employees and visitors feel respected and understood.
Combine both a sense of monumentality while keeping a human scale in an attempt to reduce the anxiety of users of such a facility.


The project

The project In the historic heart of the city, the courthouse is accessible by a succession of transitional spaces emanating from the main Square Peyrou.
The constructive vocabulary is deliberately clear and readable.
The design efforts of openness, transparence and verticality introduce spatial qualities other than those specifically attributed to the institution of justice.
The courtrooms are linked to the large public lobby, the functional heart of the building, as are the main circulation paths.
All of the offices are organized around semi circular planted gardens. Natural daylight is predominant, from skylights as well as large glass facades.
Exposed concrete of a warm color and natural stone on the outside, to which is added and the use of wood inside all come together to create a strong yet welcoming presence.