An international competition winning design for the headquarters of the Ministry of Justice in north-west England, the complex provides accommodation of 34,000m² over 15 levels.
The building houses 47 courtrooms, 75 consultation rooms, offices and support space located in Spinningfields, the large scale regeneration area in central Manchester marked by innovative and sustainable design.
The working courts and offices are designed as long rectilinear forms, articulated at each floor level, and projecting at each end of the building as a varied composition of solid and void. The hierarchy and number of courts set the length of these ‘sticks’. In side elevation, these elements collectively establish a dynamic and distinctive building profile; in end elevation, they form a powerful sculptural interplay of light and shade, depth and complexity. All circulation, gathering and meeting pods are within a 10-storey glass walled atrium. The architectural implication of the transparency of the building is that the courts are not forbidding or concealed, but open and accessible.
Photo credits: Tim Griffith