Rooms and Function Hall, Magistrates
Date of Completion: Abril de 1999
Construction area: 6,400 m2
Date of Project: Outubro de 1997
Architecture: Mário Duarte Duque
Stability: Fernando Botelho - EPE
with: Raymond Sou - EPE
Hydraulic Eng.: Fernando Botelho - EPE
E & M Installations: Henrique Costa,
SE - Engineering Services
Fire Service: SUN TAT
Contractor: CHON TIT
New Building for the Superior Court of Macau is part of the last
generation of public buildings, carried out by the Portuguese
Administration of Macau, committed to be accomplish before the handover to
the People’s Republic of China.
the Superior Court represents the cut off to the jurisdictional organs
that still relates Macau to the Republic of Portugal, providing Macau with
a complete jurisdictional system up to the High Appeal Court.
is the very first building to be accomplished in this new reclaimed land
that encloses the old waterfront. This new land defines interior lakes,
which gave a new environmental quality, not only in terms of public space,
but also in terms of city landscape keeping at the same time the presence
of the old water front outline. The new lakes provide the possibility to
enjoy the sights of both old and new opposing waterfronts.
area where the building stands has been planned to group a series of
public administrative organs, together with the New Legislative Assembly
still under construction. The construction volumes are relatively low to
what has been planned for the surrounding ground, building up a future
intermediate scale to the public space.
geometry of the urban concept defined strong conditions that necessarily
the architecture had to take into consideration, such as boundaries and
alignments of specific urban directions, drive in ways and necessarily the
waterfront. The result is a rather articulated building which volumes
clearly identifies its plastic and urban function.
design that came out of these conditions necessarily had to pay a major
attention to define and identify each piece of the architecture body, not
to make it elaborate, but to make it acknowledgeable.
this framework, the materials play an important role where each
application is directed to elements of the building of the same kind or
the materials chosen display their natural properties such as stones and
bushamered Portuguese limestone assures the solidity of the building and
display with light the bends of the shapes.
polished gray lined marble – arabescato - emphasises the energy of the
Portuguese black cleft slate develops from the background the outlines and
solemnizes the law court functions.
Norwegian Cleft Alta Quartzite, with its smooth though strong texture,
produces a waving water green reflection that ‘floods’ the interior
circulation areas with the reflection of the sun coming trough the ground
floor glazed surfaces. In the early morning and late afternoon, gives the
impression of walking on a fresh wet floor.
itself is also part of the play whenever the interior skeleton of the
building is displayed.
are stainless steel, aluminum natural anodized and copper - polished and
patinated which, with its light green color, forms the cladding of the
walls of the main court room delivering a rather less tense atmosphere.
Patinated copper is also the single color reference in the building
together with the dark cherry wood of the carpentry works.
result is purely abstract, though logical, bringing rather different
things together. It often drives the viewer to make remarks to things that
the building could resemble. The most common association is a ‘ship’
due to the fact that the metal cladded hyperbolic edge is pointing at the
lake. In truth, this was a found appropriate way to solve the exterior and
interior space for the volume of the main court room, which was, at the
same time, two pre defined boundaries with an amplitude of 30º. A curved
shape seemed to solve better this condition, both in the interior and
exterior, for the enclosure of a gathering hall. The stainless steel
cladding proved also to render a better expression and better feasibility
for such a constructive shape.
say that the sword of justice is also displayed at night-time in the
profile of this hyperbolic shape. Still, this happens due to the strong
flood lights we directed to this surface and the only light we can see is
the hyperbolic profile that corresponds to their reflection, whatever the
location one is, as it is most difficult for a gloss surface to hold and
still our conviction that all of the architecture of this building is
rather abstract, though plastically functional, and is not supposed to
look like anything as nothing in it is absolutely figurative, but we
accept the remarks of resemblance.
we achieved a strong contrasted architecture at different levels of light
and texture which strongly identifies the elements that shape the
architecture, producing the chiaro/scuro effect that the volumes can
hardly render only by the weak cutting effect of tropical light.