Office for Metropolitan Architecture and WSP win roles on colourful French courthouse

A design by Dutch firm the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has won a competition for the Palais de Justice in Lille, northeastern France.

Commissioned by the French Ministry of Justice, the building will hold Lille’s high court and district court.

OMA’s design team is led by Ellen van Loon and Rem Koolhaas, who worked with Canadian engineer WSP, Saison Menu, Quadrim and BMF on the project.

OMA’s design for the development is described by the firm as "inviting", at odds with traditional judicial architecture.

The base of the building will contain the major courtrooms, and a triangular tower surrounded by a ring of offices will rise out of the centre to accommodate the smaller venues.

Work on the project is due to be completed in 2023.

OMA has previously designed Lille’s Congrexpo conference and exhibition centre in 1994 and masterplanned the Euralille urban quarter in 1989.

Image courtesy of OMA/Hans Werlemann

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