The building of the Lahore High Court is a national heritage. It is an architectural gem representing Indo-Saracenic style of construction and it harmonises with traditional building ethos of Lahore. The location and design of the new building were finalised and its foundations laid during 1882-83 and it was finally completed in 1889 at a cost of Rs.419,724.
Following the trend of Anglo-Mughal architecture that was sweeping the subcontinent at the time, this building was among the first major Anglo-Mughal structures in the Punjab. The building has a courtyard with a fountain as its central feature creating an oasis for counteracting the intense heat of the Punjab. The east and west wings of similar architectural character flank the central block, augmenting its impressive facade by forming a ‘U’ forecourt. Interestingly, at the time arrangement was also made for carriages to enter the inner courtyard, through an entrance in the south wing, close to the English and Persian record rooms.
Set in generous grounds, the majestic High Court dominates this stretch of Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam formerly known as the Upper Mall. Handsomely proportioned the building profile is terminated with pitched roofs and gable ends. The central part is accented with a high porch behind which rise two bastion-like 95’ tall towers, which incorporate central fluted portions modeled after the Qutub Minar at Delhi and terminated with corner kiosks topped with white marble cupolas on the pattern of Mughal domed kiosks. The central gable-like front, which spans the space between two massive towers, carries the emblem of justice, the tarazoo (scales of justice), carved in white marble and set within exposed brick masonry. The roof edge is surmounted by an arcaded curtain wall of white Nowshera marble.
The structure is built of neatly laid brick masonry, with cornices and projections composed of specially molded bricks. The white Nowshera marble is employed to add a dramatic accent to the pink brick hue in the form of cupolas, elegant arcading, edgings to arched openings, and finely carved lattice for filtering the strong sunlight of the Punjab. TW