PALAIS DE JUSTICE
OBJECT DOME EXTERIOR RESTORATION
LOCATION PLACE POELAERT - 1000 BRUSSELS
CLIENT REGIE DES BATIMENTS
PARTNERS VERDEYEN & MOENAERT
The Brussels Palais de Justice (1866-83), known as Europe’s largest 19th century public building, was designed by Joseph POELAERT (1871-79) as a monument to ‘Universal Justice’ (symbolized by its four bronze roof statues: ‘la Force’, ‘la Justice’, ‘la Loi’, ‘la Clémence royale’). Built on a colossal scale, on a high plateau overlooking the historic centre, the ‘new acropolis’ required the expropriation and demolition of a vast area of the Marolles district. Its central feature is the Salle des Pas Perdus, an unequalled monumental space on ground floor surmounted by a massive dome. Even though designed in a Neo-Baroque Beaux-Arts style, its architectural language has also been referred to as ‘Assyro-Babylonian’.
The Palais de Justice was listed as a monument in 2001. Restoration and renovation work on the dome by ÁRTER was begun in 1997 and completed by 2003. It included reinforcement of the steel trusses, reconstruction of its roof covering with copper sheets, and gilding of ornamental elements with gold leaf, such as the acroteria, dome ribs and lantern crown. Interior work included renovation of the dome as well as the creation of technical and maintenance rooms.
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