Palais de Justice de Paris: a demanding architecture/technique dialogue

Imagined by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the future Palais de Justice in Paris, which will welcome up to 9000 persons per day, is the result of an innovative design. The glass tower, 160 metres tall, divided into three stacked blocks separated by terraces forming 10,000 square metres of green spaces, is reserved for the offices of the magistrates and judges. The 90 courtrooms and the concourse are located in the base ‘pedestal’, 160 m long. setec bâtiment, MEP designer, has modelled the networks of the 105,000 sq m NFA of the project in a building information model.

One of the challenges of the programme lies in the securing of the technical project. Power margins and redundancies are imposed for the energy sources and for most of the distribution networks. This continuity of service requirement is also found in the duplication of all of the 14 transformer substations and in the provision of two additional refrigeration units in order to obtain N+2 redundancy.

Integration of the technical aspects into the architectural project, constricted on a 17,000 sq m plot, has been one of the major work streams with RPBW. To ventilate the 90 courtrooms, setec bâtiment has proposed the installation of two ventilation plants corresponding to masonry air handling plants, with capacities of 220,000 cubic metres/h and 180,000 cubic metres/h.


 Design driven by energy performance

All of the equipment such as cold production, ventilation and computer servers has been designed and optimised to meet the energy undertaking given in the competition phase. setec bâtiment has also been contracted for estimation of the energy consumption over the next 27 years. The complex will be labelled BBC (low-consumption building) and certified HQE (high environmental quality).

The programme security requirements of a courthouse, the regulatory fire safety constraints of a site combining an IGH (tall building), an ERP (establishment open to the public) and an establishment subject to the French labour code (including a part subject to the French prison code) in a single complex, combined with complex flow management, has been a real challenge for the design teams.



Directeur de projet
setec bâtiment
Pauline, with setec bâtiment for 10 years, has had the opportunity to see complex projects, such as the technical renovation of the Château de Versailles, through to completion. Since 2010, Pauline has been project director coordinating all the setec teams working on the new law courts in Paris.