Historic courthouse redeveloped into mixed use venue

An 18th century courthouse in London has been transformed into a new leisure destination following a five year redevelopment costing £15m. Originally known as the Middlesex

Sessions House, The Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell was once the biggest and busiest courthouse in England. Built in 1779 by architect Thomas Rogers, it earned a reputation for harsh sentencing and closed as a magistrates’ court in the 1920s. The sympathetic redevelopment of the

35,000sq ft Grade II* listed building has been led by brothers Ted and Oliver Grebelius at Satila Studios, who acquired the property in 2013 with the intention of creating an all-day destination, with a mix of public and private spaces. The main building spans three floors

and includes a 20m tall grand dome modelled after the Pantheon in Rome, two old courtrooms and former judges’ rooms spaces. On the top floor, the former judges’ dining room will become an intimate restaurant, terrace and wine bar, which will be run by the Grebelius brothers. On the ground floor, the former

dungeons will become part of the public offering, hosting an eclectic mix of food and drink vendors amongst the prison cells remains, including cell bars, prisoners’ staircases and Portland stone cornices. The restoration was overseen by architects Feilden+Mawson.

£300m multi use scheme for Leeds’

Caddick Developments, the company behind the £400m Trinity Leeds shopping centre, is to invest more than £300m regenerate the centre of Leeds. The six-acre Quarry Hill site will be

turned into a new cultural heart centred around the West Yorkshire Playhouse, BBC, Leeds College of Music and Leeds City College. The development will be named SOYO (SOuth Of YOrk Road). SOYO will include new homes,

restaurants, bars, commercial space for start-ups as well as a hotel and new public space, which the developer hopes can be used for outdoor theatre and music events, attracting local bands and artists. “There is a huge amount happening in

this area of the city. As well as delivering our own scheme under the SoYo name, we are working alongside our neighbours, from the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Leeds City College to Yorkshire Dance and Northern Ballet, with the idea of using this opportunity to create a wider place identity,” says Myles Hartley, managing director at Caddick Developments.


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