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Manchester Civil Justice Centre
Manchester's new courts, which will deal mainly with family and commercial cases, draws together functions that were previously scattered across the city. The Court Service wanted a building that would symbolize the open and accessible character of the civil justice system. In that spirit the building is exceptionally transparent; it's not a glass box, but its functions are clear and legible, inside and out. The core function, the dispensing of justice in court and hearing rooms, is expressed by housing them in a band of accommodation that is cantilevered out beyond the building's basic footprint, thereby creating a strong sculptural fašade over the entrance to the north and over a public square to the south. Standing in the atrium and looking up through its ten floors, the visitor is greeted by a fantastic sculptural composition of floors, beams and cantilevered pods to rival any cathedral roof. High-level clerestories bounce daylight into the courtrooms in the very heart.