The design brief for the new Criminal Courts Complex in Dublin was to provide a centralised facility, replacing the existing Four Courts complex, and to cater for all criminal court business in Dublin. This was necessary as the criminal courts across the Dublin city centre, and the Four courts complex, were struggling to accommodate the volume of business required by the justice system. The new building is a 10-storey, 23,000 sq.m. complex in an iconic circular format which will come to symbolise the modern face of the Irish courts system. The Chief Justice noted that the new complex would be the first State building of such monumental proportions to be built since 1922.
Sound reduction was paramount to this project, due to the sensitive nature of the day-to-day activities within the court rooms. The judge’s chambers also required high levels of acoustic separation from other areas of the building. Low levels of reverberation were required across public circulation areas to create a comfortable acoustic environment. The designers’ vision was to remove sharp angles at the interface of the vertical and horizontal elements, achieved throughout all courtroom ceilings by the use of acoustically designed curved ceiling junctions. The design of the building was very complex in terms of acoustic performance requirements, and the Gyproc Technical and Specification team provided high levels of support both at the design and installation stages.
The designers installed Gypwall partition systems that were capable of providing high levels of sound separation in the most sensitive areas of the complex. Public circulation areas and the 'Great Hall', which is the heart of the complex, were designed to incorporate Gyptone perforated acoustic plasterboards, to maximise acoustic absorption and create a visually striking effect. The need to provide high levels of sound absorption in the atrium was critical due to its cavernous nature and the large areas of reflective glazing.
Gypwall partitions, consisting of Gyproc SoundBloc plasterboards on Gypframe Metal Stud Framing systems with Isover acoustic insulation in the cavity, were installed in the Judges’ Chambers and other office areas to ensure high levels of sound separation. To ensure that all extraneous noise was absorbed, and to provide a comfortable acoustic environment, Gyptone Perforated plasterboards were installed in the central atrium area while Rigitone 8-15-20 perforated plasterboards were installed into the ceilings at each floor level circulation route.