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Magistrates Court, Huddersfield

Part 2 Project 1999
Andrew Brown
University of Huddersfield, UK
The building form is derived from site forces discovered through a study of the changing town footprint over the last century, creating a possibility to generate form more closely synthesised with existing urban route and massing. The design accepts the complex nature of the building type, in terms of the balance between the expression of the ritual of justice (form) and the practicalities of bringing together different parties with different and often contradictory requirements into one space (function). The project looks to the new geometry of the fractal to produce a design that reflects the complex nature of the typology while also adhering to a coherent whole.

On an urban level the project looks to break down the constraining noose of the town's ring road (the building both as courthouse and public route spans the road); while creating a gateway building for both traffic and pedestrian routes. The design attempts to regenerate presently disjointed civic spaces through the re-planning of form to create a united, formal ‘civic square.’

Maximisation of natural ventilation, heating and lighting are achieved through ‘simple’ use of the buildings form and orientation. A basic material palette of timber, stone, glass and stainless steel is carefully applied to enhance the separation of parts (defining function) while exploiting the materials' fundamental properties.

Andrew Brown

Andrew has a clear theoretical grasp of contemporary architectural issues. His buildings are cultural statements locked into the philosophical and environmental ethos of today. He shares an interest in three-dimensional fragmented space with many practitioners (Gehry, Hadid etc.) but adds an interesting current of sustainability to his designs. Like many Huddersfield students, Andrew uses CAD as a design and drawing tool. His complex ideas are converted into exciting forms via the medium of CAD, often mediated by model making without the expedient of traditional generated drawings. The use of non-linear geometry and deconstruction of space (as against form) leads to a fresh visually stunning architecture.

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