Architect: GHK Architects / Feilden and Mawson
Client: Ministry of Justice
Project completion: 2009
In October 2009 the new Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, opened in the former Middlesex Guildhall, on Parliament Square. The remodelling included extensive alterations and refurbishment, necessary to form new courtrooms and provide judiciary accommodation. While security was of paramount importance, protection of the historic fabric and creation of an accessible environment, for visiting public, judiciary and court staff, were also key influences on the final design.
In listed buildings, the scope for making alterations to improve accessibility has to be balanced with the desire to protect existing historic features. In the Supreme Court accessibility has been provided, with only minimal alteration to the historic fabric of the building and with limited reliance on mechanical installations or staff assistance. This accessibility includes the common areas, the judges’ bench, positions for court staff and all viewing galleries, apart from the raised viewing gallery overlooking Court Room 3.
As well as advising on overall layout and provision of necessary facilities, David Bonnett Associates advised on courtroom layouts to ensure that these key elements are truly accessible to all. The completed building acts as a flagship for accessible design in a historic setting, its existing decorative arts enriched with modern works of art and craftsmanship, specially created to celebrate the building’s new function.
CPNI Security in the Public Realm Award
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