Architecture and heritage
Trim Court Office
The project involved the renovation and restoration of the listed courthouse, the original design of which is accredited in part to Richard Morrison circa 1810, and the addition of an extension to the building to meet modern requirements. There are now 4 courtrooms available for sittings of the High, Circuit and District Courts. The new family law suite comprises a courtroom with judges' chambers, 2 consultation rooms and 2 waiting rooms and is situated in the new extension away from the business of the other courtrooms. The new extension also includes a witness/victim support room. A lift has been installed to ensure access to the first floor for people with disabilities. The staff of the Circuit Court and the District Court have been provided with modern office accommodation in the new extension and the courthouse is supported by an extensive I.T. system throughout. A major achievement of the project is the skilful integration of the complex functional requirements of a modern court building into the constraints of the existing building whilst preserving and restoring the historic architectural features.
The work carried out
A detailed historical research and conservation study was carried out in the planning design phase. The original building structure and fabric was totally restored and protected in accordance with conservation guidelines and in consultation with Dúchas and the Heritage Council. Original architectural features were recorded and restored. These included the detailed restoration of the fine interior to the old District Court courtroom, the reinstatement of the double height entrance hall (previously divided by insensitive late nineteenth century intervention) and the reconstruction of many features of plaster work to ceilings throughout the building. The atrium space which connects the old with the new, exposing the existing stonewall is a bright welcoming space for the public in contrast to the austere formal interiors of the early 19th century courts. The court facilities which have been provided in Trim, at a cost of £5m (€6.34m), will meet the needs of the town and surrounding area for the foreseeable future. "The architectural concept for the extension to the courthouse is for an expressive contemporary design which through form and material refers to the medieval and historic context of the site as well as unashamedly expressing its place as a court building for the 21st century. The historic context is respected by the contemporary design but not mimicked by a pastiche replication of the old." Newenham Mulligan Architects.
Architects: NMA Newenham Mulligan Architects
Quantity Surveyors: Mulcahy Mc Donagh
Mechanical and Electrical Consultants: J.N.& G. Traynor & Partners
Structural Engineers: Roughan & O Donovan
Contractor: P J Walls Ltd.
Meath County Council acted as agents for the Courts Service in respect of the project.
The refurbished courthouse was officially opened by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. John O'Donoghue, T.D. on Wednesday, 11th July 2001.