City Corporation unveils architects set to design flagship court and police station

The City of London Corporation has announced the selection of the architect and lead designer to design a world-class fraud and cybercrime court and new headquarters for the City of London Police, at its Fleet Street Estate site.

Eric Parry Architects will partner with specialist sub-consultants Raymond Smith Partnership and Feilden + Mawson Architects to form the architectural team.

The new flagship combined courts facility, which is being developed in partnership with HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and the judiciary, is specifically proposed to tackle fraud and related economic crime, including the expanding area of cyber-crime, while also dealing with business and property work and hearing other criminal cases.

In addition to creating 18 courtrooms, replacing the Mayor’s and City of London County Court, and City of London Magistrates’ Court, the new facility would also benefit from its position close to the Rolls Building, the Royal Courts of Justice, Old Bailey and Inns of Court.

The City of London Police HQ will be designed to provide a modern, state-of-the-art operational base to protect the business and wider community from complex future policing requirements.

The assessment process for the competition to select an architect and lead designer focused on design approach and practice ethos. As part of the process, initial design ideas were invited from the shortlisted practices AHMM, Allies and Morrison, Bennetts Associates, HawkinsBrown, and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

High quality responses included a range of initial design approaches in terms of the landmark nature of the combined court, security and resilience of the Police HQ and took design constraints into account such as the protected views of St Paul’s Cathedral, the effect of views of neighbouring St Bride’s Church, archaeological risk, and the approach to pedestrian access provided by medieval alleyways.

The architect selection panel said:

“We are grateful to all the applicants for their efforts and the breadth of creativity and talent demonstrated by the six, highly respected architectural practises who were shortlisted.

“The panel felt that Eric Parry Architects’ approach and initial design ideas sought to maximise the value of this flagship site, while acknowledging the history of law and the City’s heritage and meeting the City Corporation, City Police and HMCTS’s aspiration for a new innovative UK centre for justice.”

Sir Michael Snyder, Chairman of the Capital Buildings Committee at the City of London Corporation said:

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a ground-breaking, modern facility that meets the needs of the judiciary and the City of London Police. It’s positive to see the combined courts and City Police project take another significant step forward with the appointment of this world-class team of architects.”

Eric Parry, Founder and Principal of Eric Parry Architects said:

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this commission for the design of a complex and vitally important group of buildings that will provide a new civic quarter both for the City of London and the country.”

HMCTS, Chief Executive Officer, Susan Acland-Hood said:

“This announcement brings a new court for the City – with a focus on economic crime – one step closer; and we are delighted that the City of London Corporation have secured a world class team of architects to take this project forward.”

Images of the proposed scheme will be available as the concept design develops later this year.

The City Corporation completed the purchase of 68-71 Fleet Street, approved, in principle, to form part of the estate for the proposed new flagship combined courts facility in November 2018.