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Madrid Civil Courts of Justice

  • Madrid, Spain
  • 2007 – TBC
  • Campus de la Justicia de Madrid
  • Competition / Research
  • 74448m2
  • Overground: 49,033m²
  • Underground: 25,415m²

Soft, dynamic tectonic turns establish the new Civil Courts of Justice as a pivotal point for an urban masterplan – horizontal shifts in mass generate ‘elasticity’, drawing visitors to a structure which ‘floats’ above ground plain – shifting metallic panels animate the façade – a spiraling atrium within curls around a public courtyard.

The new Civil Courts of Justice building inserts a symbolic public space at the heart of an ambitious urban masterplan – becoming its pivotal point, serving as a vital reference, providing structure and organisation.

In both its formal language and architectural design the building contradicts the static configuration of its surrounding buildings, utilizing soft, dynamic tectonic turns. Simultaneously, horizontal shifts in its mass, produce a pronounced sense of elasticity, grounding it to the masterplan campus, yet also drawing visitors into the interior of a structure which appears to float above the ground plain.

The building’s envelope comprises a double-ventilated façade, its exterior composed of metallic panels, responsive to environmental and program conditions. All panels shift as required, while those at rooftop level incorporate photovoltaic cells.

Within, a spiraling semi-circular atrium circles and climbs to overlook a public courtyard – a natural reference point for visitors moving through the space.


Zaha Hadid Architects


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Juan Ignacio Aranguren

Competition Team

Andrés Arias Madrid, Jimena Araiza Olivera Toro, Brian Dale, Amit Gupta, Ho-ping Hsia, Sara Sheikh Akbari, Tomas Rabl, Paulo Flores

Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers

Ove Arup & Partners


Emmer Pfenninger Partners AG