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Birmingham Magistrates' Court, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Thursday 30 Jun 2011

Order in the court

Denton Corker Marshall LLP 
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Denton Corker Marshall LLP design new 13 storey public building containing 24 courtrooms in Birmingham 

The proposed Birmingham Magistrates' Court, for the client Her Majesty's Court Service (HMCS) is a new 13 storey public building containing 24 Courtrooms. It is intended to become one of a pair of towers signifying a key gateway to the city centre from the east. The design is developed as a single curved sculptural form which will have a distinctive presence in the city and continues the tradition of curved buildings in Birmingham.

The building incorporates three primary separated types of functional space - general public areas, staff circulation/offices and custody accommodation. The public entrance and internal circulation routes are located on the active Moore Street side of the building. The front curved corner gently leans out through its full height and acts as a visual marker for the main entrance.

Crystalline glass cantilevered boxes accommodating Consultation Rooms project out of the curved form at each public concourse level and signify the location of the courts. The glazing across the façade is detailed to appear as if the skin of the building is peeled away to reveal the interior.

With this design approach it was possible to carefully control solar-gain to each individual internal space whilst also providing views out from the Courtrooms and Office areas. The public realm design includes a sheltered courtyard which provides views and access to a new City Park to the south-east of the site. This outdoor space connects to the podium arranged around the existing adjacent buildings and incorporates urban scale public art pieces commissioned by HMCS. These are proposed as a cluster of metal sculptured sticks which take their reference from the local metallurgic industries and create a local identifier.

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Denton Corker Marshall LLP

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