Australian firm Denton Corker Marshall’s 15-level court complex in the UK has won Australia’s top architecture award – the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (Raia) Jørn Utzon award for International Architecture.

The firm’s Manchester Civil Justice Centre beat projects from China, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and others from the UK.

Partners John Denton and Barrie Marshall says the award is a scoop for Australian architects, who find most international contract work in Asia, with Europe a hard market to crack.

RAIA says the project, the largest court complex built in the UK in years, was chosen for its advanced application of space.

“The design of the complex advances a range of ideas about how an institution with hundreds of years of precendent can be made relevant to contemporary society,” the RAIA says.

“The bold design replaces the traditional solid courthouse structure, which contains and encloses justice, with an idea about transparency and connection.”

By staff writer