New Court unveiled for Birmingham, UK

By Richard High12 January 2009

Architects Denton Corker Marshall have been granted Planning Approval for the proposed new Magistrat

Architects Denton Corker Marshall have been granted Planning Approval for the proposed new Magistrates’ Court in Birmingham, UK, which will include 24 court rooms and other facilities over about 20600

International architects Denton Corker Marshall has been granted Planning Approval for the proposed new Magistrates' Court in Birmingham, UK.

The new Magistrates' Court will include 24 court rooms plus ancillary accommodation for staff, judiciary, witnesses, defendants, legal professionals and members of the public covering 20600 m2 over 13 levels.

The 24 courtrooms will be located on levels one to six with four courtrooms per floor. General administration and the judicial accommodation will be located on the upper four floors of the building. These will wrap around a central internal atrium to create a dynamic and interactive working environment.

Describing the design, Denton Corker Marshall director Barrie Marshall said, "The building is closed in a single curvilinear silver metal ‘gown' from ground to roof level. Into this surface, a series of irregular horizontal slotted and stepped cut-outs provide daylight to courtrooms and public consultation areas.

"At court level translucent white glass-clad boxes containing consultation and magistrates' retiring rooms cantilever beyond the curvilinear surface reflecting the rectilinear nature of the internal planning and offering a more complex external reading of the building form.

"We wanted to give it an expressive and special character, so by creating a singular sculptural curved form that is perforated and punctuated, it becomes a more civic gesture in the company of the commercial and residential buildings that surround it"

The new building will be located close to the city centre and will provide a landmark within the Masshouse-designed Masterplan. The new court building is needed to replace the existing Magistrates' Court within the Victoria Law Courts (VLC).

The VLC is a Grade 1 listed building that will be retained by Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS) and refurbished through a separate project once the new building has been completed.

Construction is expected to start later this year.

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