Oulu Courthouse

Oulu, Finland
Client: Senate Properties
Gross area: ca. 9,100 m2 (new build) + 4,000 m2 (renovation)
Functions: Courthouse, administrative offices
Scope: Architecture, Interior design
Completion: 2023

The new Oulu Courthouse, a collaboration between PES-Architects and Komulainen Arkkitehdit, involves a new building of ca. 9,100 m2 on Torikatu and an extensive renovation of the existing building towards Sepänkatu. The courthouse complex unites most of the local and regional courts and judicial administration under one roof, with courtrooms, customer service facilities and offices for around 400 staff.

The building provides a safe, healthy and secure environment for its users, with a special focus on the the quality of indoor conditions and acoustics. The flexible premises comply with the administration’s workplace and premises concept, designed to support new ways of working and digitalisation, including electronic court proceedings.

The architecture combines high-quality and durable natural materials with a timeless design.

The ground level of the concrete-frame building is clad in Kuru Grey Granite and upper floors with pale-grey plastered brick. Windows are detailed with copper and brass-coloured copper plate. The entrance framed with brick-red terracotta rods.

Interior walls are finished in natural-coloured wood veneer or slats, which are also used to clad the ceilings in the public spaces. The warm, white lime plaster walls in the public lobbies are dotted with bronze mineral particles. Roof lanterns introduce abundant natural light.

The project was implemented as a spearhead alliance project with Senate Properties and Hartela Pohjois-Suomi Oy. The project fulfills ambitious environmental and lifecycle goals, including energy recycling and a solar power station on the roof. It also served as Senate Properties' pilot project for carbon footprint calculation.

Artwork was commissioned for the courtrooms and lobbies from Finnish artists Otto Karvonen and Kai Rentola through an open art competition arranged by the Finnish State Art Commission and Senate Properties.

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