The laying of the foundation stone was marked in a ceremony on Friday 29 November in the presence of the Honourable the Chief Justice Yong Pung How and Lord Foster in Singapore.
The new Supreme Court Building will house 21 civil courts, 11 criminal courts and 3 appeal courts ranging in size from 120 m2 to 250 m2, as well as offices, an auditorium, a library and a public restaurant. The new state-of-the-art facilities will equip Singapores legal system for the demands of the twenty-first century, providing flexibility for future advances and expansion. It will house the latest electronic information systems, allowing cases to be processed with greater efficiency, providing greater quality of service to the public.
The buildings architectural vocabulary conveys the image of dignity, history, judicial symbolism, transparency and accessibility appropriate to Singapores legal system. Situated in the civic heart of Singapore, the building will create a new public space in the city, adjacent to the existing Supreme Court, City Hall and Parliament House.
The courts of appeal the highest courts in the land occupy the highest part of the building, and are symbolically raised above the legal and civil courts in a dramatic metal disc. This form responds to the dome of the existing Supreme Court building, offering a contemporary reinterpretation of this historical architectural device. The two-storey disc also contains a public viewing platform, with dramatic views across the city.
The building will be completed at the end of 2004 with an estimated construction cost of S$180 million ( 70 million).