Designs for a new justice quarter and public square on Fleet Street revealed

  • Design proposals for the ‘Salisbury Square development’ have been revealed by the City of London Corporation with three buildings housing a flagship courts building, police headquarters and commercial space;
  • A bigger and better public square will become a place for all to enjoy, complemented by new connections and routes through this historic part of the Square Mile;
  • The scheme heralds a major investment in justice and policing, building on the UK’s global reputation in these fields at an important and challenging moment in our history.

The City of London Corporation has launched a full public consultation on its plans for a new courts, police and commercial development on Fleet Street, revealing design proposals for the three buildings and the landscaped masterplan.

The City Corporation is urging the public to have their say on this new civic hub - an important investment into the UK’s legal and justice sectors. There are three key elements:

  1. The flagship Courts building, with its main public entrance on Fleet Street, will be a combined court housing Crown, Civil and Magistrate’s courts, and will help to meet the objectives of the HM Courts and Tribunal Service’s reform programme by equipping the legal system with the facilities to deliver justice in the modern age.
  1. The new City of London Police HQ will bring together a large part of the force - currently spread across a number of buildings in the City - in one purpose-built headquarters, designed in consultation with officers and staff, to support modern policing and improve operational effectiveness.
  1. A commercial building will be located towards the rear of the site providing office accommodation and space for retail, bars, or restaurants at ground floor level, capitalising on proximity to the cycle superhighway along Embankment and drawing footfall down through the city towards the river.

The masterplan, designed by Eric Parry Architects, prioritises walking and cycling with new east-west routes through the site. Landscaping and townscaping proposals make the most of the views of the Grade I listed Wren-designed St Bride’s Church and the historic fabric of the Square Mile. An integrated public art strategy will be a vital part of the masterplan, imbuing a sense of public ownership and civic pride. New artwork will be integrated into the fabric of the buildings so that it becomes part of the architecture.

The buildings have been designed so that each retains a strong individual identity whilst responding to each other and to the context of Fleet Street, the surrounding area and the wider City of London.

Robust natural materials predominate with granite and limestone facades to the courts building providing a contemporary addition to the streetscape and a substantial civic presence on Fleet Street. A publicly accessible foyer at the ground floor will include a ‘processional stair’ , with nine storeys of courtrooms, and facilities for the judiciary, support staff and juries sitting above.

A weathering steel external structure to the police headquarters echoes the red brick of the neighbouring listed building. This structure creates a robust building, fit for vital security, while providing the long lifespan and low maintenance that are key to the brief. Ten storeys of flexible space will provide accommodation for around 1,000 officers and civilian staff; three basement levels will house specialist spaces and provide access for police vehicles. A 24-metre clear span in the structure at the ground floor will create much greater transparency connecting it to Salisbury Square and presenting a welcoming face to visitors.

The proposals for the commercial building see facades formed of panels of pressed unglazed terracotta, above a precast concrete base of a similar tone to the steel of the police headquarters.

Eight storeys of high quality, flexible office space will be created with a roof terrace for tenants offering views south across the river. The ambition is to create a cycle hub and cafe on the ground floor of the building, with access from the Embankment Cycle Superhighway.

The City of London Corporation has also laid out a robust, zero on-site emissions sustainability strategy for the Salisbury Square Development, which will include reclaiming materials from existing buildings where possible and creating adaptable, robust buildings designed to last at least 125 years. In addition, the buildings will be designed to international WELL Building Standards - the leading tool for advancing health and well-being in buildings globally.

It is estimated that the new civic hub for justice, policing and commercial activity will support 2,100 jobs directly, including 400 brand new jobs in the City of London and an estimated 280 more through the supply chain and related economic activity.

Courts Minister Chris Philp said:

“London is a globally recognised as leader in law, and this new flagship facility will reflect the City’s role as the global centre of justice and legal services.

“It will provide 18 courtrooms in a more sustainable, state-of-the-art facility, helping to strengthen our legal system by delivering justice in the modern age.

“Through tackling fraud and economic crime, it will attract even more of the world’s most dynamic companies to conduct their business here. I encourage you to have your say on the consultation for this new court centre in Fleet Street.”

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said:

“As a lawyer myself, I know that the Square Mile is home to a unique cluster of legal expertise and services. Maintaining this position as a world leading judicial centre is essential as we lay the foundations for our economic recovery.

“These new designs outline an exciting vision of how the Salisbury Square site can be transformed into a new civic hub, housing a state-of-the-art court and a new City of London Police headquarters. This project will reinforce our reputation as a place to do business by ensuring we are able to adapt to the changing demands placed on the justice system. It will also create new public spaces and routes that will open up the wider Fleet Street area, enabling more people to explore this historic part of the City.”

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

“My Committee and I are dedicated to delivering a world-class scheme, that meets the specific operational requirements of this project.

“We are committed to opening up the wider Fleet Street area and delivering a flagship Court complex and state of the art City of London Police headquarters fit for the future of our world leading financial and business City. These designs will help to realise this vision.”

Ian Dyson, Commissioner of the City of London Police said:

“As the UK’s lead for policing economic crime, a new state-of-the-art operationally effective headquarters will meet the needs and challenges of the City of London Police’s fast evolving brief to protect all the communities it serves, in the City of London and nationally.

“Designed in close consultation with officers, the new HQ will allow the force to be as efficient and effective as possible, embracing technological advancement and smart working practices to better serve and protect the public.”

Describing his approach to the project, Eric Parry, founder of Eric Parry Architects, said:

“The adage that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ fits well the challenge of the Salisbury Square development, because three new individual buildings together with their historic neighbours, will together create a new civic quarter for the City of London and beyond.

“Like any good civic place, we have begun with the quality of the public realm, which is enabled in turn by the quality of the architecture that bounds it. Our proposal is for three buildings, each with its own character that reflects its unique use, bound together in a civic ensemble with the surrounding city. Each building has been designed for a long life and to stringent sustainability criteria. Our proposal will enhance the pedestrian experience and incorporate artwork within the buildings. New amenities such as a public house and cycle hub will ensure that Salisbury Square becomes a place for the general public to visit, as well as a worldwide centre of excellence for the legal profession that supports the pre-eminence of the City of London as a place to do business.”

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

About the Salisbury Square Development:

Built to the highest modern standards when it comes to accessibility and sustainability, the Salisbury Square development will open up and improve justice for all and be a significant addition to the already exemplar legal capabilities of the UK.

The scheme will also provide a significant investment into jobs and economic growth. It will:

  • Be a civic hub for justice, policing and commercial activity, supporting 2,100 jobs directly
  • Create around 400 brand new jobs in the City of London and an estimated 280 more through the supply chain and related economic activity
  • Create 150 direct construction jobs through the life of the build and a further 80 jobs through the supply chain;
  • Generate around £51 million per year once complete and operational;
  • Generate c.£10 million in productivity benefits (GVA) per year during construction
  • Generate in excess of £5.4 million per annum in business rates receipts for the public purse of which approximately £1.6 million could be retained by CoL for investment in local spaces and services
  • Play a key role in the future of Fleet Street as a thriving part of the historic Square Mile, especially as part of the newly formed Fleet Street Business Improvement District

For more information and to submit feedback please visit: http://salisburysquaredevelopment.co.uk