Cork Courts


BAM Ireland


Completed 2018


8800 Sq.m.


Anglesea Street, Cork.

Project details:

To see a timelapse video of the Cork Courts click here: Cork Courts Timelapse Video

BAM successfully secured the contract for all seven courthouses with Wilson Architecture acting as  Architectural Design Lead for both the Cork and Limerick Courthouse projects, developing the project design further from bid through to construction on site.

In terms of design, the mix of new and old is a major element to the design of the new courts.

The Court Service require 6 courtrooms in the new build part of the Courthouse. The OPW design proposed “a single and simple volumetric composition containing the complex functions of the Court”. The proposed composition is comparable to a single element of limestone extruded from the earth and hewn to a design to accommodate the complexities of the court.

The height of the building at lower levels is relative to the height of the tower of the Model School which in the 1860s was utilised as an observation point for looking out to sea. The higher level of the building forms a relationship with the Cork School of Music and both provide distinctive shapes on the Cork Skyline.

The use of limestone is respectful of it being the most commonly used material for civic buildings in Cork city. Its use in this design externally is imposing in form yet delicate in detail. The depth of window reveals and use of the stone internally enhances the concept of the building being hewn from one solid mass and pays homage to City Hall, a well-loved city landmark located on the east side of Anglesea Street. The Design/ Build team went to great lengths to procure a stone as close in nature and colour to the original Cork Limestone which is no longer available commercially, finally settling on a limestone heralding from Roscommon which is lighter in colour than generally available Irish limestone.

Along with the use of stone, the use of wood and in particular oak is of utmost importance to the formal and Civic nature of the building. All courtroom walls are clad in European Oak along with oak furniture. The uniformity of the material is intended to enhance the perception of formality within the courtroom while the material is functional for use in furniture.

Great attention to detail was required to achieve the simplicity in aesthetics required in a civic building of this stature.