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Her Majesty's Court Service announced yesterday that Foster and Partners are to work with Feilden+Mawson on the 32 million transformation of Middlesex Guildhall into the United Kingdoms first independent Supreme Court. The redesign of the Grade II
listed building will inform plans to remodel Parliament Square, bounded by the Legislature to the east, the Executive to the north, Westminster Abbey to the south and the new home for the Law Lords to the west.
Following Foster and Partners successful transformation of Trafalgar Square, the project continues the vision set out in the original World Squares for All masterplan, which aimed to improve pedestrian access and enjoyment of Londons central environs while enhancing the settings of its buildings, monuments and spaces. Supported by structural and mechanical engineers WSP Group plc, and quantity surveyors Gardiner &Theobald, the team is expected to begin work on the Guildhall site in 2007 with the renovation programmed to be complete by the end of 2008.
Spencer de Grey, deputy chairman of Foster and Partners, said: We are absolutely delighted to work on such a prestigious project. There is great potential in exploring the relationship between the new Supreme Court and the next phase of the World Squares project.
Foster and Partners have previously collaborated with conservation architects Feilden and Mawson on the remodelled HM Treasury building that abuts Parliament Square. The new Supreme Court is part of this comprehensive body of work that deals with new interventions in, or in relation to, sometimes highly symbolic historical buildings that have included the New German Parliament, Reichstag and the Great Court at the British Museum. The practices approach is to peel back the layers of history, respecting the heritage of the site and recasting the experience of the old through the medium of the new.
Hugh Feilden, partner at Feilden+Mawson, said: Our work at the Royal Courts of Justice, HM Treasury and other court work around the UK proves we are able to deliver practical and attractive solutions. Our collaboration with Foster and Partners has proved a winning combination, integrating our respective experience in conservation and contemporary design and allowing us to balance the functional and inspirational requirements of the project.
The winning bid includes proposals for:
- Three hearings rooms
- Landscaping, pedestrian and road access from Parliament Square
- Redesigned approach and main entrance
- Public entrance lobby
- Fourteen Justices Chambers grouped together to create a collegiate atmosphere
- A Justices Library
- An education suite
- The delivery route for case paperwork - essential to the smooth operation of the Supreme Court, affecting horizontal and vertical circulation
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