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New State Courts to make its mark in Chinatown when completed

SINGAPORE — The tallest government building in Singapore will rise up in Chinatown at the end of the year, with the project to build the new State Courts towers now moving into its final phase of construction.

Slated to be completed by this year and fully operational by the first quarter of 2020, the S$450 million building will stand at 178 metres tall and comprise 35 storeys and three basement levels, with 39 link bridges connecting the two towers.

Slated to be completed by this year and fully operational by the first quarter of 2020, the S$450 million building will stand at 178 metres tall and comprise 35 storeys and three basement levels, with 39 link bridges connecting the two towers.

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SINGAPORE — The tallest government building in Singapore will rise up in Chinatown at the end of the year, with the project to build the new State Courts towers now moving into its final phase of construction.

The final touches for the structural works were completed on Friday (Jan 25) with a symbolic topping-out ceremony officiated by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon to mark the completion of the highest points of the court and office towers.

L to R: Deputy Presiding Judge Jennifer Marie, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Presiding Judge See Kee Oon. Photo: State Courts

Slated to be completed by this year and fully operational by the first quarter of 2020, the S$450 million building will stand at 178 metres tall and comprise 35 storeys and three basement levels, with 39 link bridges connecting the two towers.

There will be 53 courtrooms and 53 hearing chambers with room for more in the future. The current building has 37 courtrooms and 40 hearing chambers.

All courtrooms will have a new system to transcribe oral evidence in real time, while 19 will be equipped with video conferencing facilities.

A resource management system will be used for the deployment of court interpreters, court officers and assignment of the courtrooms and hearing chambers.

The new State Courts will also house a theatrette, business centre, cafeteria, roof garden and sky terraces, as well as a library and auditorium located in the basement.

It will be environmentally friendly, as the two towers — which were awarded the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Award (platinum) last year — will have 60 rooftop solar panels and other energy-saving technologies such as motion sensors and rainwater harvesting.

Justice See Kee Oon, the Presiding Judge of the State Courts, said that these facilities and technologies will allow the State Courts to deliver justice in a timely and efficient manner and meet the demands of an IT-connected community.

"These open spaces have been specifically included in the design of the Court Tower to provide a conducive space for all court users in what can sometimes be a stressful and intimidating environment," Justice See said.

Interactive self-service kiosks will be located on multiple floors for court users to get information and make their payments for bail, court fees or fines.

The State Courts said that currently 90 per cent of Singapore's caseload — or about 300,000 cases yearly — is handled there, making the current building untenable to support future needs.

Expansion plans for the new building were mapped out in 2011 and construction works began three years later.

The existing building, which is over 40 years old and was gazetted for conservation in 2013, will be retrofitted to house the Family Justice Courts from 2023.

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