Glass entrance screen, library doors and Courtroom Two screen for the UK Supreme Court, commissioned by Fielden & Mawson Architects and Ministry of Justice, when the Law Lords moved from the Houses of Parliament to Middlesex Guildhall in 2009.
Sandblasted and etched glass
The glass entrance screen presents the viewer with lines from the Judicial Oath, which all judges take when they are sworn into office. The screen was conceived as a rhythmic whole, spanning across the width of the hall, with people circulating from left to right. The design is punctuated by the emblem of the Supreme Court on the ceremonial doors, which includes the following symbols: the rose (England), leek (Wales), thistle (Scotland) and flax (Northern Ireland).
Sandblasted, etched and slumped glass
The glass doors leading into the library are opened on ceremonial occasions only. Each door shows a facsimile of the Laycock Abbey Magna Carta from 1225 with the First Seal of Henry III (by kind permission of the British Library). The Magna Carta established the constitutional principle that the power of the ruling king should be limited by a written grant and is therefore seen as a safeguard against arbitrary rule. The lines in bold lettering repeat in English one of the few clauses of the Magna Carta, which deals with a general principle of the law.
CURVED SCREEN COURTROOM TWO
The curved glass screen allows a partial view in and out of Courtroom Two. The text JUSTICE CANNOT BE FOR ONE SIDE ALONE BUT MUST BE FOR BOTH is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, the civil rights advocate. The text is sandblasted twice so it can be read from both sides of the screen. The surrounding pattern makes reference to the base pattern of A. W. Pugin’s wallpapers for the Houses of Parliament, the former home of the Law Lords.