$450 million contract for new State Courts Towers awarded to Samsung C&T Corporation

The facade of the current State Courts in Havelock Square.
The facade of the current State Courts in Havelock Square. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - The State Courts have awarded the $450 million construction contract for its new building to Samsung C&T Corporation, a parent company of Samsung Group.

The new complex is expected to be completed in 2019, and is slated to be operational from 2020, the State Courts said in a media release on Monday (Feb 29).

The new complex will be made up of two interconnected towers, each about 178m high. They will rise behind the existing octagonal-shaped courthouse.

With an area of about 113,000 sqm, it will be thrice as big as the current State Courts building, which is more than 40 years old.

The towers will be linked by a series of sky bridges, and the complex will be eco-friendly, featuring naturally ventilated corridors, solar power panels, and high-rise gardens.

The Office Tower will house offices and other support functions, while the Court Tower will have over 60 courtrooms and more than 50 hearing chambers, compared with the 40 courtrooms and 28 hearing chambers in the existing complex.

The new courthouse will have no outer walls; instead, court rooms will sit on open-air platforms surrounded by greenery such as a roof garden.

At the groundbreaking ceremony in May 2014, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said: "Standing as a modern contrast to the 'octagon', the new tower complex... is a powerful metaphor for the openness, transparency and impartiality of the judicial process".

The new complex was designed by Serie + Multiply Consultants and local Singaporean firm CPG Consultants.

Foundation specialist CSC Holdings was awarded the $21.6 million contract for foundation and sub-structure works for the new complex in June 2014.

Piling works on the site, previously an Urban Redevelopment Authority public carpark in front of the current State Courts building, have been completed.

The current building began operating on Sept 15, 1975, and centralised various courthouses around Singapore. These included the Criminal District and Magistrates' court which were located in South Bridge Road; the Traffic Courts which were housed in the former Sepoy Lines Police Station in Outram; and the Civil District Courts which operated out of the old Parliament Building and the Supreme Court Building in St Andrew's Road.

The octagonal building was previously known as the Subordinate Courts building, until it was renamed in March 2014, and initially housed 26 courtrooms, but saw more added over the years.

On July 10, 2013, the landmark achieved conservation status.

After the new State Courts complex is completed in 2020, the current building will be retrofitted and the Family Justice Courts will operate there from 2023.

Samsung C&T is currently involved in the construction of Tanjong Pagar Centre, as well as the construction of the Suntec City Addition and Alteration project.

Correction note: An earlier version of this article stated that the new complex was designed by London-based Serie Architects in collaboration with local Singaporean firm Multiply Architects LLP. This is incorrect. The new complex was designed by Serie + Multiply Consultants Pte Ltd in collaboration with local Singaporean firm CPG Consultants. We are sorry for the error.