The Subordinate Courts of Singapore recently announced the proposal by Serie Architects and Multiply Architects as the winning design for their new courts complex. Their design features an innovative two tower strategy in which one tower is dedicated to the criminal courtrooms and the other to the judges’ chambers and support functions. The two towers are linked by a series of foot bridges that enable the controlled circulation necessary for the courtroom process. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The courtroom tower is an open frame supporting a series of shared terraces on which the courtrooms are placed: it has no external facade. In a metaphorical sense, this represents the openness and impartiality of the judicial process. The open terraces feature planting and are designed to allow views across the city thereby reinforcing the civic role of the building.
The existing Subordinate Courts building (i.e. Octagon), built in the 1970s, will be refurbished and will house 35,000sqm of family and juvenile courts and support functions. The two new 150m high towers will have an area of 110,000sqm and will accommodate criminal courts.
Construction is scheduled to begin next year and to be completed in 2019. The open design competition jury was headed up by internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie. In a joint statement, the jury praised the ‘simple but dignified’ design which ‘complements the conserved octagon without trying to outshine it.’
Chris Lee, Principal at Serie Architects, comments, ‘the relationship between the city and its civic buildings was our primary interest for this project. The new Subordinate Courts Complex should be a building that is symbolically open and accessible to the public. The design language should be readily understood by all Singaporeans.’