Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
2011-2014, Karlsruhe, Germany

The Paul Baumgartner-designed Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has undergone intensive renovations and a complete overhaul of the surrounding landscape.

Developed from West 8’s 2011 winning competition entry the surrounding landscape has been transformed from a fragmented and featureless space, into a lush green landscape of the highest quality.

The undulating lawns open-up views to the adjacent Botanic Gardens. Within the context of the judicial buildings, several courtyards have been planted with sculptural trees and shrubs.  Their appearance changes strongly between seasons, with their forms, shapes, textures and colour catching attention and subtly contrasting with the rationalist architecture.

New lawns flow around the buildings and a richly textured granite entrance square has been laid.  The square’s design follows the original architectural intent for ‘democratic transparency’ and is open and welcoming. The mosaic texture of the stone pattern guides people towards the main entrances while the edges of the square interweave into the lawn, introducing an element of informality.  The high quality of the finely textured natural stone imbues the space with a timeless dignity.

The landscaping of the Federal Constitutional Court is characterized by modesty. The integration of the ensemble of historic buildings into the broader context of the Botanical Gardens and the grounds of the castle has been carefully considered and lends a serene elegance to the space.

client
Federal Republic of Germany represented by Staatliches Hochbauamt Baden-Baden 
partners
ramthun Landschaftsarchitektur
awards
Honor Award, German Architecture Awards 2015 (Anerkennungen, Deutscher Architekturpreis ); Silver Sustainability Award BNB (Bewertung Nachhaltiges Bauen in Silber)
team
Adriaan Geuze, Christian Dobrick, Daniel Vasini, Fernando Diez, Joris Weijts, Karsten Buchholz, Shane Fagan