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Courthouse Complex
Courthouse complex with office of public prosecution, regional and district court
Leoben, Austria 2000
Invited competition, 3rd prize
GFA: 21.000 m2
The exposed position of the courthouse complex makes it the “first” public building of Leoben on the eastern drive to the town. Corresponding to the impact that the building has on the townscape, it develops as an open citizen-centric building on the hillside. The courthouse complex huddles smooth against the slope using the natural fall.

The ‘wall’ is a dominating element for every prison. In the design the ‘wall’ is raised to the theme. Autonomous walls articulate (divide) the sloped site and define the structure of the inside and outside spaces. Enclosing, supporting or dividing walls change their function in their run. Every wall is a definition and a possibility at the same time.

The way the buildings are positioned IN FRONT or INBETWEEN the vertical wall-elements define the difference of the OPEN or CLOSED character. The law-courts are developed ON and AROUND the vertical elements. They are open for the public and for communication. The vertical walls organize and support the buildings. They are a spine that ties the free organized volumes to the slope. The open character is dominating.

Although the prison demands high security standards, the buildings (functions) are organized between pairs of vertical wall elements. The concrete walls are enclosing the volumes. The closed character is dominating.