Judicial Centre in Vallenar, Chile
In 2000, a new law was introduced to reform the criminal procedure system in Chile. This law entailed changes in the functioning and internal structure of courts (openness to the public), as well as the creation of certain design criteria (standards) and their subsequent dissemination and contextualization in the different regions of the country.
Setting design standards that will be implemented accross the country
The court-house project for the city of Vallenar is part of this process. It has recently been decided to provide universal accessibility, while implementing environmentally efficient design practices in accordance with the LEED version 4 certification.
The tasks carried out by IDOM include the design of the project, the drafting of the bidding documents, and the provision of support during construction phase, based on an objective image developed by the Administrative Corporation of the Judicial Power.
The new Judicial Centre of Vallenar, still in the development stage, is located in the centre of the city, specifically, the III Región de Atacama. The architectural program includes the Family Court and the 1st and 2nd Civil Courts, spread over two levels, plus a below-ground floor, a total area of approximately 4,000 m2. Given that it is an extended building, the proposal integrates the institutional values with the identity of the context, through the intensification of the configuration of interior courtyards that have been designed as an oasis while becoming an integral part of the building.
The intense use of glass as internal divisions, which is part of the Corporation’s stamp, to transmit the message of transparency, is compounded by a stone facade that interacts with the desert climate. In this stone façade, emphasis is placed on the use of stone that reacts to the intense sunlight, causing small shadows that appeal to the galleries and mining constructions of the nearby hills. This operation is complemented with the use of metalwork that generates an analogy to the original mineral condition of the metal when it is in its natural state as a vein in a rock.
The project is expected to be completed in 2021.