Plans have been submitted for a new £81 million magistrates court in Birmingham city centre, along with the first view of how the building will look.

The landmark 20,600sq m building has been designed by Stirling Prize nominated architect Denton Corker Marshall. 

Anchoring the £500 million mixed use Masshouse Development on Moor Street Queensway, the new building is set to house 24 court rooms over 13 storeys.  Work is expected to get under way on the project before the end of 2009, with completion scheduled for the end of 2012. 

On course to be rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’, the building will have a striking curved form with projecting glazed ‘pods’ accommodating public spaces, magistrates’ retiring rooms and consultation and meeting rooms.

The structurally glazed public entrance at ground floor level is accessed through a public courtyard.  There are then six levels of courtrooms, with four courts on each floor.  At the top of the building there is a plant level and three levels of offices housing the magistrates, judges and court offices; all of which will be arranged around an internal central atrium, providing natural lighting to the working areas.

The new court building is required to replace the existing Magistrates Court accommodation within Birmingham’s Victorian Law Courts, a Grade 1 listed building, which cannot meet current building regulation standards. The building requires a significant refurbishment, which will be procured by Her Majesty’s Courts Service through a separate project. 

Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The new Magistrates Court will play a crucial role in a successful and prosperous future for Masshouse and Eastside.  This new court building will not only raise the bar for the standard of architecture seen elsewhere in the city, but its delivery will also bring significant change to the immediate area.

“In and around Masshouse, there is likely to be a rise in demand for office space among legal practices and supporting services; and the sharp increase in footfall in this area will also help to support amenities such as convenience stores, cafes and restaurants.  It is therefore very exciting to see this project moving considerably closer to fruition.”