The new facility, 2km north of Aberdeen city centre, will comprise a police station with 60 cells, a criminal justice office, a virtual court facility and an identity parade suite.
The project is due for completion and occupation by late 2013.
Grampian Police's development partner in the project is hub North Scotland, a public/private procurement partnership. The project is designed by GMA|Ryder Architecture.
The existing custody unit at Queen Street, Aberdeen is too small to hold all the bad guys, with only 31 cells.
The new development will be built on derelict, brownfield land that was formerly a depot for Scottish Water, splits into two distinct levels. The northern half of the site falls 2m from its highest level before there is an abrupt drop of approximately 6m to the lower part to the south. The split levels have been used to create separate entrance points for custody and criminal justice accommodation, with the secure elements of the custody facility on the lower level.
Chris Malcolm, associate at GMA|Ryder in Glasgow, said: “The design brings together all the key stages of the criminal justice system in one facility. It responds specifically to the unique opportunities offered by the site topography to create a building which in its transparency, materiality and form is the antithesis of preconceptions about what a custody establishment should look like. The new building will act as a physical expression of the ethos of Grampian Police and the new National Police Service of Scotland - accountable, transparent and visionary, stable, secure and enduring.”