Denton Corker Marshall completes largest UK justice project in 100 years
Manchester Civil Justice Centre (MCJC) is the largest court complex to be built in the UK for a century. Her Majesty’s Court Service wanted a building to symbolise the open and accessible character of the Civil Justice system, a truly public building of European architectural significance. The building needed to be light, airy, welcoming and extremely legible through clear design and planning.
The client’s brief also demanded minimal impact on the environment and low energy use. The courts were required to maximise daylight, natural ventilation and acoustic privacy whilst maintaining comfort temperatures. Building form, orientation, layout, shading and engineering systems were key elements in achieving these requirements. These characteristics were maintained from competition stage to completion.
The MCJC employs advanced environmentally sensitive design principals, using local and sustainable materials and suppliers targeted during construction, helping to achieve an 'excellent' BREEAM rating.
This project has offered a cultural shift of perception of the British public of what a court building should look like. On entering the building, the occupants move from the spacious reception area into the vast light filled 11-storey atrium. This space, with the pods apparently floating in the upper void area, becomes an exhilarating spectacle.
Her Majesty’s Court Service noted that the MCJC will greatly enhance the administration of Justice in and around Manchester, creating a welcoming atmosphere and considerably improving the operational efficiency of the Department. The building is the flagship of the Spinningfields development, which is acknowledged as setting new world-class standards for city centre regeneration.