Manchester Civil Justice Centre


Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Design process

The project was initiated by The Court Service as an exemplar project, spearheaded by Lord Irvine and coinciding with the launch of the Better Public Building Initiative in 2000.

European Union procurement regulations were followed for all the key appointments.  Developers were invited to provide a suitable site near Manchester’s legal quarter.  This had to be capable of taking a building of 300,000 square feet that could be converted into office use if no longer required by The Court Service.

Selection by design competition

A multi-disciplinary design team was selected through a design competition.  A CABE enabler joined the Court Service team and was supported by the RIBA Competitions Office.  49 submissions were received, and three teams were selected to proceed to the final stage.

Choosing the winning team

Denton Corker Marshall’s scheme was selected due to the:

  • imaginative use of the site
  • the striking yet practical design
  • clear zoning
  • value for money 

The architect was formally appointed by Allied London but continued to work with the Court Service to develop the design and refine the scheme.