• Nantes, France
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Interpretation of an heritage

Civic buildings represent civic power.

A justice center represents the power of justice.

What is at stake here is the image of justice, its symbols and character.

Public buildings carry a heritage of recognized signs that cannot be disrupted without risk.

The architecture proposed here is a modern interpretation of the heritage of signs associated with justice.

I have just tried to justly define what an appropriately “just” architecture is, from the long view across the river, through the facade, down to the interior details.

It is an exercise of architectural composition, of objectification. It is about translating words like justice, fairness, equality, balance, dignity, and character – and their crossed definitions with other words, other concepts – into constructed signs.

The structure is rigorous, the vocabulary formal: screens, transparencies and reflections form an environment that conveys the essential, open impartiality of justice.

I submit the pertinence of this project, passed through the filter of these superposed meanings, to your judgment.



Jean Nouvel