Glasgow Sheriff Court

Keppie Design, Glasgow, 1988


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West elevation. A ramp leads down to the security moat and police vehicle area 

Jeremy Preston     Download Original

  • West elevation. A ramp leads down to the security moat and police vehicle area    
  • Elevation to the car park and Gorbals district. Fine materials and rich modelling do not diminish the sense of unremitting power and near aridity    
  • The atrium, simplicity and serenity combine to produce a most satisfying space    
  • Main entrance level courthall. The spectacular reception counter seen from above    
  • Atrium; calm, assured, spatially rich    
  • The freestanding     
  • The lift interior. The rear panel is an ambiguous homage to Mackintosh    
  • One of the criminal jury courtrooms viewed from the bench. This is a sherrifs eye view    
  • The appeals court. Tucked away on the main axis at second floor level, the waffle slab ceiling, French marble back wall and bench give this small chamber a relative sense of exuberance    
  • Upper courtroom floor. Witness assembly area. dark timber square grilles are used to great effect in all witness waiting zones    
  • The entrance is lost among the emphatic structure and sobriety of the finishes    
  • Custody area, male cells    
  • Custody area. Several large group cells are provided    
  • Cells have centrally positioned stainless steel bowl urinals    
  • The Clydeside, south bank site with Gorbals Street and Victoria bridge in the foreground    
  • Entrance level plan    
  • First floor level plan    
  • Second floor level plan    
  • Third floor level plan    
  • North-south section    
  • East-west section    
  • Detail from the engaging bas-relief by Jake Kempsall    

Rehousing of the cities courts into one stone clad, stern looking building

Combining 21 courts dispersed around Glasgow under one roof, the building features four criminal courts, eleven general purpose courts, an appeal court, a civil court, a criminal custody court and two juvenile courts, along with ancillary spaces.

Working under height restrictions, the building is four storey's high built symmetrically around a central atrium which brings natural light into the building. The atrium provides a lobby and meeting space, allowing visitors to understand the building.

Materials are selected and represent the importance and need of the differing spaces. The exterior use natural stone, large scale and symmetry add to the perceived importance of the building.


  • Completed: Jan 1988
  • Floor area: 23,989m2
  • Sector: Civic
  • Total cost: £21.2M
  • Tender date: Dec 1980
  • Address: 1 Carlton Place, Glasgow, G5 9EP, United Kingdom

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