Located in the eco-district Clichy-Batignolles, on the northern edge of Paris, the new Paris Courthouse (Tribunal de Paris) is the largest law court complex in Europe offering over 100,000 sqm of internal floor area and hosting more than 90 courtrooms. The landmark building - aligned on the north-south axis to the adjacent Martin Luther King Park - brings under one roof various courtrooms and judicial offices which till now have been scattered throughout the city. This architectural masterpiece is made up of three elements: respectively the pedestal containing the courtrooms, the ‘bastion’ housing the detention cells and three blocks forming the tower and housing around 1,300 offices. Architecturally the bold design involves four stacked volumes of decreasing size: on top of the narrow and long podium are stacked three parallelepipeds of decreasing size and detached from one another by a cantilevered structure. This tiered system creates a composition of large, landscaped roof terraces - respectively on the 8th, 19th and 28th floors - softening the shape of the building and offering relaxing outdoor space.
160 m / 525 ft
38 stories tall
The main feature of this high-rise, slim (35 m wide) building is represented by its extreme luminosity determined by the architectural envelope, covering the entire building, and providing the highest level of natural light and transparency to the interiors. On the one hand this feature symbolizes the transparency of justice, on the other hand the abundance of light and luminosity creates a relaxing internal working space and establishes a close relationship with the external environment. The complex façade plays an important role in bringing brightness and well-being to the interior with its high level of solar glare control, reduced by 34 per cent by Permasteelisa’s double-glazed façades. To further enhance its contribution to the internal comfort and increase protection and safety, the envelope also boasts outstanding energy performance, sound insulation as well as explosion-proof public areas.
Design & engineering, manufacturing and installation of around 29,000 sqm (312,100 sq ft) of curtain wall and 3,800 sqm (40,900 sq ft) of stick system façade for an overall area of 32,800 sqm (353,000 sq ft).
A new concept of courthouse completely enveloped in high-transparency glass skin
To further increase its low level of energy consumption the iconic building’s curtain wall incorporates cutting-edge technological features such as natural ventilation, high thermal insulation and extensive use of integrated photovoltaic panels which also bring the façade to life with special reflection. The sustainable façade along with additional eco-friendly features - such as rainwater harvesting, heat recovery and automatic control - guarantees the outstanding energy performance of the building whose energy consumption has been reduced to 75 kWh per square metre per year. Tribunal de Paris has HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) certification and is also BBC (Bâtiment Basse Consommation) labelled.
Permasteelisa France and Permasteelisa Italy - both member of the Permasteelisa Group - worked in synergy and with a consolidated approach able to combine local expertise with global resources meeting the tight execution schedule for completing the project. Besides timing, the variety of customized façades had to face each a particular challenge.
The podium, which is open to the public, features five different types of Blast Protective Façade, the avant-garde technology developed by the Permasteelisa Group’s Innovation & Solutions Department. With a combination of unitized curtain wall systems and stick systems this explosion-proof envelope had to be resistant but, at the same time, thin and transparent, very well lighted and flooded with natural light. Blast enhancement has been integrated preserving the architectural scope and the major façade requirements for energy efficiency, comfort and safety. The façade of the entrance hall consists of 13.5 m tall slender mullion featuring extra-large in size elements glazed at the base with bright silver double-layer, insulated and acoustic glass which offers special reflections and a coating with high thermal insulation.
The skyscraper’s west and east side, from their most important surfaces, look at Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower respectively, while the narrow south and north façades, with a smaller surface, look at the center of the city and at Clichy and Mont-Valérien. A bespoke double-skin façade, incorporating photovoltaic modules - designed as sun protection - wraps the tower’s east and west sides for an overall area of 24,500 sqm (263,700 sq ft). The individual façade elements are 1,350 mm wide and between 3,250 mm and 4,467 mm high while weights range from 250 kg to 507 kg. The outer panes are made of laminated low-iron glass with a silver coating, the inner panes - operable for natural ventilation - are made of insulating glass with a special coating for solar control. The efforts of all the parties involved were mustered to meet a wide range of technological challenges such as combining the values of the thermal transmittance with the specific fire protection regulations reflecting, at the same time, the aesthetic intent of the architect. The integration of the photovoltaic, sun-shading modules had to guarantee high transparency and wind resistance and required applying for a statutory Demande d’Appréciation Technique d’Expérimentation (ATEx) pursuant to French law - a form of certification for the development of innovative processes and products.
The north and south sides are covered with 4,500 sqm (48,400 sq ft) of single-skin façade with aluminum fins for sun protection. Facing the Boulevard Périphérique busy ring road, the envelope’s challenge of the north side lied in the engineering of operable panels meeting the high sound insulations requirements of 42 dB+ctr.
Maximum transparency, energy efficiency and occupant comfort
4,670 prefabricated façade elements
80 different aluminum moulds
451 t of steel
Integrated photovoltaic, sun-shading modules
HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) certification
BBC (Bâtiment Basse Consommation) label
CLIENT: Etablissement Public du Palais de Justice de Paris + Bouygues Bâtiment
ARCHITECT: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects
CONTRACTOR: Bouygues Bâtiment
Since the façade elements could not be stored on site, they had to be delivered on a just-in-time basis. For this reason, the steel girders had to be assembled with the photovoltaic modules near Paris, and transported to the construction site with special transports and reusable racks at night in order to ensure smooth assembly during the day.
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