Old Courthouse and Judiciary Police HQ to become new Court of Final Appeal Link copied
Conversion of 70-year-old listed ‘Estado Novo’ building finally going ahead after decades of under-use; first phase to cost MOP 56 million, target completion in March 2024.
The 70-year-old Courthouse building and the adjacent former Judiciary Police (PJ) headquarters in the city centre are to be converted into the Court of Final Appeal (TUI).
The whole structure of the Old Courthouse on Avenida da Praia Grande will be kept intact. Part of the façade of the former PJ headquarters will be left untouched, however, a portion of the rest of the building will be demolished.
The Public Works Bureau (DSOP) said the project will be carried out in two phases. The government has commissioned Soi Kun Engineering Company to carry out the project’s first phase for MOP 55.9 million. Soi Kun Engineering is owned by former lawmaker Mak Soi Kun.
The DSOP had invited seven construction companies to bid for the project’s first phase earlier this year. Soi Kun Engineering is required to complete the project’s first phase in 435 working days.
Back in August 2020, the government decided not to go ahead with a controversial project to redevelop the Old Courthouse into the city’s new central library and announced that the building, which is officially listed as a cultural heritage site under the category of “buildings with architectural interest”, would house judicial facilities such as the TUI.
Currently, the TUI shares a building with the Court of Second Instance in the Nam Van Lake district.
The PJ moved to their current headquarters in ZAPE several years ago, leaving their former base vacant.
The government decided in 2020 to redevelop the long-abandoned Hotel Estoril near Praça do Tap Seac into the city’s new central library.
The central library is currently housed in a listed building in Praça do Tap Seac, just across the square from the old Hotel Estoril.
For the time being, the government does not have a final date for the completion of the new central library project as construction has not yet started.
According to the DSOP, the Old Courthouse and the former PJ headquarters earmarked for the future Court of Final Appeal building covers 3,524 square metres.
The whole structure of the Old Courthouse will be kept intact and consolidated. The interior of the Old Courthouse will also be renovated, and the internal layout reorganised.
The façade of the former PJ headquarters on Rua do Padre Luís Fróis SL, and its east-section façade on Rua Central, will be kept intact, while the remainder will be demolished for the construction of a new building that will have three storeys plus a basement.
The TUI complex project will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will include the partial demolition of the former PJ headquarters, the new building’s pile foundation work and its basement.
The Old Courthouse was built in 1951 and initially housed Macao’s financial and economic services departments and later its courts. The three-story building in Portugal’s Estado Novo (New State) style has been vacant for nearly two decades and has been used for temporary exhibitions and other cultural activities in the past few years, The Macau Post Daily reported.