Its unusual design, with the working courts and offices being expressed as rectilinear forms articulated at each floor level, makes it a striking addition to the Manchester cityscape and this visual impact has been recognised with over 20 awards and a place in the 2008 Stirling Prize shortlist.
However, as highlighted in this most recent award, it is not only the aesthetic qualities of the MCJC which set it apart.
The RIBA Sustainability award recognises a building which demonstrates most elegantly and durably the principles of sustainable architecture. With a BREEAM rating of Excellent, the environmental design has been equally important in the buildings construction.
A significant aspect of the sustainable design of the MCJC was the specification of aluminium composite material as part of the detailed and complex façade. The LINEAR façade panels, manufactured by Euroclad were constructed of dark grey metallic ALPOLIC/fr ACM, which were not only able to achieve colour consistency and proven flatness but also have excellent sustainable credentials.
The environmental impact of aluminium has been greatly reduced over the last century, at all stages of the supply chain. Currently, over a third of global aluminium production is from recycled material, a figure that is continually growing. Recycling aluminium takes just 5% of the energy needed to produce primary metal, resulting in a 95% reduction in greenhouse gases production.
Furthermore, due to its complete recyclability and the fact that it can be recycled again and again without any loss of quality, the bank of processed aluminium is getting larger. Currently 75% of all aluminium produced since the 1880s is still in use for future generations to exploit as a low energy resource.
Aluminium is a vital material in the creation of high quality architecture and infrastructure, playing a key part in a sustainable future. Its use in the Manchester Civil Justice Centre not only made a vital contribution to the overall aesthetic of the building but also played a key role in the integration of environmental sustainability into every aspect of its design.