Work Completed on Renzo Piano’s Paris Law Courts


Officially opening in early 2018, the first images of the Tribunal de Paris, a new courthouse on the northern edge of the French capital, have been released.

Work has been completed on the Renzo Piano-designed tiered tower that will become Europe's largest law courts. The complex stands 160 metres tall, housing 39-storeys and 175,000sq m of surface area.

Situated on the northern edge of central Paris, the new Tribunal de Paris will regroup various facilities dispersed around the capital, consolidating them in one building. The site is located at a key intersection between the different administrative areas of Paris and its suburbs.

[Related reading: Architecture Consortium Selected to Redesign Paris Tower]


All images © Sergio Grazia

Renzo Piano Building Workshop won a competition to design Tribunal de Paris in 2010. The architects said that they reduced the building's scale by breaking it down into four volumes of decreasing size to fit in with the proportions and context of the city.

The building is made up of three elements: the pedestal contains the courtrooms; connected to it, the “bastion” houses the detention cells; and there are three blocks of administrative and judicial offices forming the tower.

The tiered system has given rise to large roof terraces – around one hectare in total – which will be landscaped and planted with some 500 trees.


The tower is only 35 metres wide, permitting a high level of natural light. The 5,500-square metre entry space is punctuated one large central atrium and two smaller north and south atria – which reach the full height of the first section of the building.

The complex is entered at the ground floor level via a 6,000-square metre plaza on the Avenue de la Porte-de-Clichy.

On subsequent floors within the first volume are 90 courtrooms, nearly all of which benefit from indirect natural light. The subsequent volumes contain offices and meeting rooms. The building contains a number of environmentally sustainable elements like thermal inertia, use of natural ventilation, incorporation of photovoltaic panels on the façade, and rainwater collection.


The new law court building was launched to alleviate the increasingly cramped accommodation of several different services around central Paris, including the regional court, the police court, the public prosecution courts, and the district courts attached to each of the city’s sectors.

The building is due to open to the public in April 2018.

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