Spanish studio Taller de Arquitectura by Mauricio Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo opt to create a private courthouse in Pátzcuaro, Mexico, where an oval stone wall involves brick and timber volumes.
The architecture project has a deep connection with nature, being situated on a pitched site on the edge of the town, where incredible landscapes are formed, and having its structure simultaneously separated by surrounding gardens.
The Courthouse was designed in response to a requirement to update all of Mexico’s justice facilities. The goal is to allow the conduction of open oral trials instead of the previous written process. In order to do that the architects proposed a building based around flexible spaces, accommodating both the traditional and the new oral trial formats.
Different areas of the project are designated for use by judges, prisoners and visitors. The structure provides a wide range of functional spaces that are grouped depending on their use. This concept not only allows considerable circulation but also high levels of security.
The separation of the building’s plan by parallel blocks and exterior gardens allows a sense of openness and levels of transparency into the spaces. Perforated brick walls serve as barriers through out the building.
According to studio Taller De Arquitectura, the new jail architecture must be exposed to a system and open to the citizenship with lighted paths, shadows, wind and silence.
The 5 to 8-meter high curving stone wall surrounds the entire floor area, depending of the site’s location point. It was designed with volcanic stone and forms a robust surface, creating a stunning presence within the nature landscapes.
The entrance of the Mexican Courthouse is placed in the center of the building and is connected with the two main courtrooms.
The Symetrical wooden volumes that accommodate the spaces are separated by the main garden, while timber surfaces provide suitable sound insulation and acoustics.
The visitor’s entrance is located in one side of the site while the prisoners have a separate entrance on the lower part. A corridor connects the waiting rooms to the courtrooms.
The remaining structures that house the reception areas and judges’ offices feature brick walls and sloping tiled roofs. These structures reference vernacular architecture in a region that experiences significant rainfall.
The administrative areas are lined with glazing that provides an open outlook towards the adjacent gardens.