Plan of the Courthouse 1977

Plan of the Courthouse 1977

Architect: Abdul Rahman Makhlouf

The space of the Courthouse was arranged in four concentric circles. The outer layer forms six main reception areas, one for each department: General Administration, Fatwa (Islamic judicial interpretation), Civil Court, Criminal Court, Personal Affairs Court, and Supreme Court. Each reception area was connected to the next inner circle of buildings that housed offices for the departments’ employees. The various reception rooms and offices were not connected, but the next layer in the circle ,the courtrooms, did form one continuous circle in the middle of the structure.

The convenience of the Courthouse used to take precedence over its intimidating nature as an institution of law. Layers of wide-open arched entranceways invited you to enter. Continuous archways cutting through the layers of façades, along with the roofless middle section, guided natural light toward the interior.

The Courthouse has since been covered with reflective cladding, and the central area has been enclosed with a dome. As its form has changed, so has the building’s function after the restructuring of the Abu Dhabi Judiciary system in 2006.

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