"The placing of new apertures in the seaward facade follows the original principle of creating a counterpoint to the volume of the building: vertical in the lower wing and horizontal in the taller, central building," says the architect.
"No changes were made at the corners of the building, or at its southern end, to avoid compromising the solidity of the brick volume."
To counterbalance the brick surfaces, lightweight steel window structures were retained, with the only change being the addition of heat control glass. Inside, the floor heights increase from the top down. The courtrooms, with their need to accommodate large numbers of people, were located on lower floors, with office space positioned above.
"Some surgical measures were needed to bring natural light into the small offices and to aid orientation in the public spaces," says Siitonen. "Two light wells were cut into the body of the building. To make the best possible use of natural light, the main staircases rising in these light wells were constructed from suspended steel frames, with the horizontal planes made of sandblasted glass."
Besides the large volume of brick, which conveys a sense of reliability, the architecture of the building has other features which were deemed a good fit with the public image of the judicial administration. One such feature is the concrete mushroom pillars, designed to withstand loads of several tonnes.
"In the courtrooms the interior wall lines are not adjacent to the pillars. The pillars stand freely in the courtroom, lending structure to the space and emphasising verticality," says Siitonen. "In contrast, the office walls are located on the pillar lines or between them. The resulting 6.5m modules provide pleasant 3m² offices."