The area dedicated to the Charleroi Law Courts (including the Labour and Trade Court, the Trial Court of Primary Jurisdiction and the Justice of the Peace headquarters) needed new spaces for offices and additional courtrooms for hearings after the grouping together and extension of several jurisdictions. To house the Labour and Trade Court, the decision was made to renovate the old Institut National du Verre adjacent to the Law Courts: two buildings erected in the 1960s by architect Charleroi Jacques Depelsenaire.
He was put in charge of the restructuring work and sadly passed away a few weeks before work on the site ended. The relationship between interior and exterior suggested by the double glazed skin of the facades is confirmed right from the building’s entrance by a long connecting wall lit with Ledplus luminaires. Visitors arrive in the waiting room set up in the former glass museum area, with huge windows overlooking the city park and allowing the space to be filled with light.
The space’s dimensions are highlighted by the use of iRoll wall-mounted luminaires at the top of the columns and between the ceiling beams. The courtrooms are profoundly peaceful thanks to their large size and the zenithal natural light allowed in by lateral openings, plus the artificial light from recessed Sistema Easy and iRoll wall-mounted luminaires.
Several rows of wall-mounted i24 luminaires guarantee up lighting to create a relaxing atmosphere for the 135 seat auditorium.
As requested by the local heads of the judiciary, who wanted to convey the idea of open Justice linked to society, the building is surrounded by a public park, linked to the city’s pedestrian routes, with maximum visibility for the inner courtyard of the historic building. The car park was placed one level below the entrance, to help to hide it from view. This layout meant a 3.6 m height difference, therefore requiring anti-fall protection systems. To avoid interrupting the view towards the inner courtyard with a simple railing, a large overflowing pool-like structure was built.
This large body of water, without limits on two sides, is like a mirror reflecting the main building’s facade. It is also a tranquil feature at the building exit, complete with a long suspended bench leading up to the main entrance, which is in turn embellished with a Corten steel portal reflecting the pattern of the beams in the waiting room and the material used for the retaining walls. The most is made of the structure by lighting from recessed Light Up Professional LED and Delphi LED luminaires. The roof projection running all the way around the building is made lighter by Linealuce recessed luminaires in the outer corridor. Its purpose is to redefine, lighten and add depth to the building.
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