From its inception, the European Human Rights Court had met in a small building behind the main Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg. With the growth in cases and influence, a new home was needed. British Architect Richard Rogers took up the challenge, deciding to create a building along the River Ill on land provided by the City of Strasbourg; a place that would be welcoming, open and transparent, whilst reflecting the dignity of a court. “We wanted the building to break from the traditional monumentalism associated with ‘Palaces of Justice’ by placing emphasis on accessibility,” he explained.
The building took four years to complete and involved work by 50 firms and 125 subcontractors, costing 544 million French Francs donated by Council of Europe member states. Today it is a powerful icon that is home to 47 judges and around 700 staff.