The new Courthouse is a volume with a rectangular footprint of 70x60m which grows on 6 floors above ground for a total height of 30m. This elongated volume is located on the western edge of the building area, arranged according to a perfect East-West orientation. By virtue of its implantation, the project achieves important urban results, placing itself as a hinge between the layings of the neighboring building fabric and as a gate between the city centre and the waterfront.
From a typological point of view, the building is the result of the insertion on the site of two building volumes (15x70m) and of their subsequent connection by means of a system of walkways arranged on the East and West facades which identify the two permeable fronts towards the city and towards the seafront. A large transparent roof covers the large space between the two volumes while a translucent facade envelops the building volumes and the connecting walkways, giving unity to the project.
The building is inspired by two building traditions of European and American origins. On the one hand, the greenhouses, the Passages and the urban galleries of the XIXth century. On the other hand, the large containers, the Big Boxes and the big corporate buildings of modern times.
In both traditions, the efficiency of the most advanced technologies is accompanied by the generosity and flexibility of space, understood not only as a place devoted to a specific function but as a "void" with a high level of indeterminancy, available to a multiplicity of appropriations.
in collaboration with Supervoid Architects
Benjamin Gallegos Gabilondo
Maria Vittoria Mondelli
Municipality of Catania