Constructor: Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW, Niederlassung Aachen
Architects: Weinmiller Architekten, Berlin
Adress: Adalbertsteinweg 92
Photos: Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin
In the judicial centre in Aachen, old and new buildings are cleverly combined. By extending, re-structuring and in some parts demolishing, Weinmiller Architekten designed a completely new complex which takes the history of the location into consideration and, at the same time, finds a way to be modern architecture. The new buildings include four simple, clearly structured individual houses which are orientated on the existing buildings as to their proportions and their inner organisation. The new central building follows the floor plan axes of the old building and functions as the interface of old and new. In it are courtrooms and community facilities, all grouped around a glass-covered hall in the centre which extends over several floors. The central building is adjoined by two court houses, a courtyard house for the Social, Country, and District Court and one for the prosecution with a separate entrance. The main access is through the historic gate building into a spacious interior courtyard which is, on one side, bordered by the existing extension of the County and District Court, on the other by the closed long side of the multi-storey car park for employees and visitors. The façade of the car park resembles openwork of red-coloured concrete blocks which makes natural ventilation possible. At the transition from the public street to the realm of justice, the lettering set into the concrete becomes as a work of art an integral part of the architecture. The central structure of discreet grey pre-fabricated concrete parts stands out with its colour from the openwork façade of the car park and the red brick of the court buildings, which with their materials rather follow the existing buildings and accord with the surrounding park.