Middlesex Guildhall is a building near the Houses of Parliament. It was a Crown Court until recently, but it’s being refurbished – greatly refurbished, apparently, by Lord Foster – as the building of the new Supreme Court (Wikipedia). It appears that there’s a conflict between the kind of furnishings people want to preserve and the image of court of justice they would like to modernize.
BBC News has some photos.
My attention was drawn to this by the weblog White Rabbit by the barrister Andrew Keogh, who departs from his usual avoidance of legal subjects to describe the beauties and shortcomings of the building and the paucity of attractive Crown Court buildings as a whole. Here’s the relevant entry:
Middlesex Guildhall is a listed building and is to be refurbished in a way that has caused howls of horror from traditionalists. I don’t really have a problem with this generally – the place did look pretty tired and the refurbishment plans actually look pretty good, albeit ones that I can’t imagine they would ever get past English Heritage in any other context. Okay, it’s staggeringly expensive also but after the Millennium Dome we are probably inured to that sort of stuff. Governments are for wasting money. My gripe is – they are mucking about with courts 1 and 2!!! This should never be allowed to happen….
Next thing you know – they will take Judge Jeffries’ name down!