Studio Class at UC Berkeley
Studio Class at UC Berkeley

Of Sentences and Men – The judicial institution in the Phocaean context

This project was developed by MORGAN BAUFILS as a student from Ensap bx and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Facilities category.

In France, the social balance seems to be weakened. In a climate of global reference loss, the increasing distancing of power and population has contributed to the disintegration of the solidarity sense. At the same time the crisis has contributed to accentuate precariousness and inequality, becoming an argument in favor of politics austerity, whose decisions are taken away from the people, sometimes even against population. The idea of a social project has vanished, politics just maintain a system orchestrated by economy. Faced with the established order, a desire to make itself by people unpredictable was apparent.

In this context, the judicial institution, as the foundation of democracy, is also put into question. For a long time assimilated to the good and considered as an ideal for Man, justice has now become an element structuring our societies. This renunciation of total liberty for the benefit of a collective harmony passed through the assurance of knowing all equals to the law. However, the emergence of an impunity feeling and a two-tier justice, contributes to a crisis of justice confidence. The justice defectiveness appears also on its form: despite the architectural attempts to improve the transparency, the judicial system isn’t legible by the average. The understanding of its arcanes remains the insiders privilege and the application of law tends to replace the equality to the law by the knowledge of the law.

Questioning the courthouse, in its form as in its function, seems necessary to reinforce the society values ​​and the link between justice and citizenship. Justice has to become the absolute again, the marker out of time which it has always been, accepting at the same time its fallibility. It is time for the palace to become an hotel, to open itself to its population, to become intelligible. Let the justice come to the people, and inscribe in its territory and its specificities. The environment of this reinterrogated justice, is major in the research of a new symbolism. Marseille appears as a city, where justice has too often failed face to crime and political patronage to the point of altering its image and development. Re-rooting Justice in this territory where it has been weakened seems therefore paramount in order to allow a population divested of it to reclaim justice. The legitimacy of a new courthouse then passes precisely through its distinction to the old, through its opening and integration of citizenship spaces, whose assistance, debate and information are the common foundation.