The Paris Courthouse, located in the north of the French capital, is taking on the role of the former Palais de Justice on the Cité Island which can no longer respond to the technological needs of contemporary Justice. The new facility gathers all the District Courts, Justice Departments and Police Courts, which were formerly separated over 5 different locations across the city.

Reaching a height of 160 meter and displaying over 100,000m² of floor surface, the building has 38 floors dispatched into four ensembles: the Pedestal which houses 90 high-tech courtrooms, and the slender glass tower composed of 3 sets of decreasing width comprising about 10 floors each, which is dedicated to Justice operational and administrative premises. The Bastion adjoining the Pedestal, is located in the west part of the site and includes in particular 205 detention cells.

Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop within a public-private partnership between the French public institution and the project company Arélia (Bouygues Group), the Paris Courthouse is a town in itself accommodating over 3,500 Justice officers and up to 9,000 visitors per day. This elegant new landmark in the Paris horizon required the specific engineering skills of the setec group in order to master the technical complexity of, on the one hand, the structure: high-rise building of a very high slenderness ratio, cantilevered transfer floors, and on the other hand, the networks: 400.000m3/h ventilation plants for the Pedestal and photovoltaic panels on the tower facade. Moreover, the project is High Environmental Quality (HQE) certified.



The owner selected the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the setec group to design the facility, from the competition stage through to construction follow-up and building handover.

Responsible for the overall technical coordination and construction supervision, setec carried out in particular the following design packages:

- Foundations and diaphragm walls,

- Concrete and steel structures,HVAC systems and smoke exhaust,

- High-voltage and low-voltage electrical networks including multimedia and security systems,

- Fire safety systems compliance with high-rise building, public access facility and penal institution regulations, in conjunction with security systems,

- Building consumptions estimate (Energy Efficiency Commitment).


PPP public institution of Paris court of law and company of project Arélia (Group Bouygues)

Key figures

Period of services

August 2010 - July 2017

Key challenges

Complete BIM modelling of the structure and networks

The Paris Courthouse is one of the first buildings entirely designed through Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology. The architects and engineers developed all the graphic documentation, drawings, axonometric lay-outs, details, along with the bills of quantities, using exclusively Revit modeling. The systems were dimensioned with specific resources implemented during the design phases, in order to ensure that all the data from the digital model is engaged. The Revit model also enabled to perform coordination and presynthesis between the different engineering systems.