Centuries-old trees, expanses of water and a dry garden for the park housing the new buildings of the citadel of justice
Park Associati's proposal for the public competition for the construction of Bari’s citadel of justice, focuses on the interaction between the two functions envisaged by the brief for the area in question: the courts buildings and the park.
The two plots were previously occupied by barracks – now in the process of being demolished – that stood in a park area featuring centuries-old maritime pines, part of which are going to be preserved. The project envisages the buildings of the court-houses and the prosecutor's office arranged as in a campus, within a redesigned and expanded park.
The flows are designed to allow different needs to coexist efficiently, providing, on the one hand, protection and privacy for the buildings that are accessed through a basement plate and, on the other, the park's greatest possible opening to the city.
Thanks to a North-South central axis that follows the barracks' original arrangement, all the park will in fact become available to the public. Embellished with Mediterranean low-stem plants or bushes, the park's project is conceived according to the principles of the dry garden, where plants live and adapt to the dry climate typical of Mediterranean latitudes. The squares inside the park feature expanses of water that also act as rainwater collection basins during the isolated but intense rainstorms ty pical of this climate zone. The park also includes a civic centre with areas for sports activities, a coffee bar and a kindergarten for the children of court employees.
The transparent side of the buildings' façades overlooks the axis that crosses the park. These areas house the distribution and public functions, while the more rigorous and inward-looking façades of the outward-facing part protect the privacy of courtrooms and offices.
The façades overlooking the park feature large loggias that accommodate outdoor amenities, hanging gardens where plants and greenery provide a fresh and pleasant environment that engages all the senses – according to the principles of biophilic design –, offering rest and relaxation areas for those who work in the courts and need a certain degree of privacy from the public.
The wooden structures and the buildings' cladding made of Trani stone agglomerate reflect the Mediterranean light during the day, turning the campus into an open, iridescent space. This place gives the city a contemporary feel of the justice buildings that goes well beyond the concept of bunker, at the same time maintaining the impregnability and confidentiality required by their function.
Park Associati in collaboration with Moramarco+Ventrella Architetti (Concept), STEAM (Sustainability and Plants Project), Milan Ingegneria (Structural Design), OpenFabric (Landscape), Engeo (Mobility and Geotechnical Analysis).