Civil Justice Building - Bridge Street, Manchester, UK

Denton Corker Marshall
Date Built
Bridge Street
Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, said of this building that it is “...the most ambitious court project since the Royal Courts of Justice were built over a hundred years ago. ..... It is a 21st century court building fit for a 21st century justice system.” In response John Denton, the founding director of the Australian architectural company Denton Corker Marshall that created the building, said, “We wanted to create a building that would not only signal and display the transparency and accessibility of the courts and courts system, but that would also become a strong sculptural urban marker for the city. It forms an integral part of (the)regeneration of the Spinningfields area in the city."

Spread over 16 storeys, it houses 47 courtrooms, 75 consultation rooms, with additional office space. It features an 11-storey atrium and on its west side it has a glass wall that is 63 metres by 60 metres in size. It also has floors which cantilever out from the Bridge Street side of the building.

The Civil Justice Centre is a technologically advanced structure. It has a complex web of ductwork to allow air, taken through wind scoops facing the direction of the prevailing wind, to circulate through the building providing a natural ventilation system. If the wind speed is too low to achieve this, a back-up system cools the building. Other features include an ‘environmental veil’ on the east façade that controls solar heating while maximising natural daylight. It also has a groundwater cooling system.