Competition for the design of new judicial offices


Location: Catania

Year: 2020

Project team: Gabriele Corbo, Jacopo Costanzo, Valeria Guerrisi

Collaborators: Cecilia Condemi, Angela Tanzola, Cristina Tascioni


On the eastern side of the area stands the main building, headquarter of the new judicial center. The rest of the lot, in continuity with Viale Africa, becomes a large public square, articulated on several overlapping levels.

Like a marine creature, maybe interstellar, seems approaching the enigmatic stone – cutiliscio – by Giacomo Leone, on which it directs its glance. The great court, whose main character lies in the renewed balance between the city and the Ionian Sea, will have a red cladding, nourished with anthracite shades, typical of the Etna sand. Through its symbolic value, aims to become a landmark for Catania which generates itself from its remote lava roots.

Despite its strong iconic shape, the building confronts with the architectural emergencies, the landscape, and the natural elements of the context: the city with its sea, the earth, and the volcano. Including the upper terrace that concludes and crowns the project, we could consider this dialogue as addressed to all four natural elements: fire, earth, air, and water.

The building is allegorical, it tells about a marine nature, it faces the sea, from which it seems to have emerged. The volcano is its goal in the north, where it gives itself to Etna, stripping off its coating. From a compositional point of view, its palindrome nature – like the scales that symbolize justice – emphasizes the buildings on the sides, two valuable interventions by the architect Leone: he gave a lesson to be learned belonging to a particularly fertile period of modernity for the complex urban history of Catania, whose memory cannot be lost.