Major Extension of the Court of Justice of the European Communities

The development over time of the Court of Justice on the Kirchberg plateau reflects the evolution of the European Union itself – a process of expansion and consolidation – which has resulted in the extension of the court on three occasions. Four major components form part of this fourth extension operation: the original Palais building; the ‘ring’ that encompasses it; the twin towers that are landmarks for the new court and the compositional elements of the public space; and the gallery that connects the complex together. Although the physiognomy of the Palais has been maintained, internally it has been completely refurbished to house the main entrance and stairway as well as the principal and auxiliary courtrooms. Suspended on columns surrounding the Palais, the ring houses the judges’ private chambers and conference rooms and the 100-metre-high towers provide offices for the translators. The choice of materials follows the ecological guidelines for public buildings and the facades have been designed for maximum thermal performance.