- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 08 Jun 2015
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights is a key building in the history of the Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP, now Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, RSH+P) and one of the few landmarks which provide a credible architectural image for the new Europe.
The site is located some way from the historic centre of the city but close to the river. The design creates a symbolic landmark but not a monument: the nature of the Court’s business implies that its premises should be anything but intimidating or fortress-like. Rather it should be welcoming and humane, while preserving an appropriate dignity. Protecting and enhancing the quality of the site was a prime objective, along with economy of operation and a ‘natural’ environment.
The basic diagram of the scheme was tested to its limits during the design process. The collapse of the communist bloc greatly increased the European ‘family’: the building’s office provision had to grow by some 50 per cent and the public spaces by 25 per cent.
The two main departments of the European Court, the Court itself and the Commission, occupy two circular chambers, clad in stainless steel, at the head of the building, while secondary structural elements are picked out in bright red. The entrance hall is light-filled, and has fine views out over the river. The ‘tail’ of the building is divided into two parts and contains offices, administration and the judge’s chambers. Functions are clearly legible. Only the main public spaces, focusing on a stone-paved rotunda, are air-conditioned (using an economical heat-exchange system). The remainder of the building relies on natural ventilation and light with opening windows.
Façades provide for a high degree of planting: well established greenery spills down from the roofs. The building is a powerful and highly rational expression of the function it serves but is imbued too with a Mendelsohnian streak of romantic expressionism.
- Place/Date: Strasbourg , France 1989 - 1995
- Client: Conseil de l’Europe
- Cost: £35 million
- Area: 300,000 m²
- Cost/m²: £117
- Architect: Richard Rogers Partnership
- Structural Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners/Omnium Technique Européen
- Services Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners/Omnium Technique Européen
- Quantity Surveyor: Thorne Wheatley Associates
- Main Contractor: Campenon Bernard SGE
- Lighting Consultant: Lighting Design Partnership
- Landscape Architect: David Jarvis Associates/Dan Kiley
- Co-Architect: Atelier d’Architecture Claude Bucher
- Acoustic Consultant: Sound Research Laboratories
Featured articles and news
A quick introduction to a healthier and more sustainable form of construction.
The structural feasibility of modular high-rise buildings.
BRE conference on ways of providing and maintaining quality indoor environments.
CDBB publish foundational definitions and values to guide the development of the National Digital Twin.
Despite the reduction in staffing, most users remain satisfied with the service.
We run through the top 37 styles in history - but how many would you recognise?
Improving approaches to risk in the built environment sector.
Megatrends: Smart Building Technology
Share your BREEAM knowledge to help improve the industry.
Are you innovating without realising it?