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Foster is to design Supreme Court
BBC News

One of the UK's top architects, Lord Foster, has been chosen to help create London's new Supreme Court building.

A team has been awarded a £30m contract to redesign and renovate Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square.

The Grade II listed building will be home to the independent Supreme Court which will replace the House of Lords when it opens in 2008.

Lord Foster's famous projects include the "gherkin" skyscraper and the Millennium Bridge, both in London.

Norwich-based Feilden and Mawson will lead the project supported by Foster and Partners and Drivers Jonas will manage the project, the Lord Chancellor announced.

'Architectural heritage'

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC, said: "We have assembled an absolutely first-class team to see through the development of what is destined to become one of this country's landmark buildings.

"All those involved in the successful bid have track records of excellence.

"Their brief is to come up with a building design in keeping with the architectural heritage of the area but to the highest modern standards."

Middlesex Guildhall's existing Crown Court work will be relocated to other London courts.

Feilden and Mawson have recently worked with Foster and Partners to refurbish HM Treasury on nearby Horse Guards Road.

Lord Foster was also responsible for transforming the German Reichstag in Berlin and remodelling the British Museum's Great Court.
 

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Government Choose Supreme Team

Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said: "We have assembled an absolutely first class team to see through the development of what is destined to become one of this country's landmark buildings."

The United Kingdom's first separate Supreme Court came a step closer today with the announcement of the team that will transform Middlesex Guildhall into the highest court in the land. This follows the Constitutional Reform Act receiving Royal Assent on 24 March 2005.

Project managers Drivers Jonas and lead architects Feilden and Mawson, supported by Foster and Partners, were selected after successfully tendering for the £30 million project.

Their redesign and refurbishment of the Grade II* listed building on Parliament Square will see it transformed by late 2008 into the first home of the independent Supreme Court.

The details of the project will be subject to the approval of Westminster City Council and English Heritage.

Middlesex Guildhall's existing Crown Court work will be re-located elsewhere in London, and plans are in place to ensure there will be no adverse effect on the criminal justice system as a result of these changes.

Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said:

"We have assembled an absolutely first class team to see through the development of what is destined to become one of this country's landmark buildings.

"All those involved in the successful bid have track records of excellence.

Their brief is to come up with a building design in keeping with the architectural heritage of the area but to the highest modern standards.

"By 2008 we should have a Supreme Court of which we can all be proud - open and accessible to all, with excellent accommodation for judges and support staff alike."

Drivers Jonas has been one of the UK's leading firms of chartered surveyors since being established in 1725.

The firm employs more than 400 people and recent projects include the refurbishment of Admiralty Arch in London and the building of a new criminal courts complex in Dublin.

Feilden and Mawson is expert in the sympathetic adaptation of historic buildings to meet modern uses and requirements: they have worked on a range of projects in the UK and abroad over the last 50 years, including the new Civil Justice Centre in Manchester and the refurbishment of HM Treasury on Horse Guards Road, where they worked with Foster and Partners.

Internationally-renowned architects Foster and Partners are responsible for some of the most significant building projects in the world including the new German Reichstag in Berlin and the remodelling of the Great Court of the British Museum.

Lord Falconer announced that Middlesex Guildhall was the preferred site for the UK's first Supreme Court on 14 December 2004.

The refurbishment is not expected to be completed before the end of 2008. In the meantime, the Law Lords will continue to sit in the House of Lords.
 

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I still think this is the wrong place for the Supreme Court. It really should've been somewhere near the Temple/Old Bailey area with the other main court buildings (RCJ, Old Bailey). Also, by putting a bit of distance between it and the HOP would've given a better impression of the Supreme Court being independent of the Govt.
 
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