Significant refurbishment project undertaken in Australia law courts
The Queens Square Law Courts project is one of the most significant refurbishment projects undertaken in Australia. The Queens Square Law Courts are located within a 1977 building which reflects court management values of that era; where security, privacy, separation of the Court from the outside were paramount. The architecture was strongly ‘defensive', while the interior design was contemporary, but also ‘institutional'.
GroupGSA + HASSELL's brief was to create an environment that reflects the current philosophy of a modern Australian Justice System; a space that is accessible, light, safe and open - a reversal of the original building's brief. In doing so it promotes a higher level of collaboration between the Judiciary. The project also resolves compliance and safety issues, increasing the amenity for its occupants and the public. The design was developed within a detailed understanding of the structural and spatial constraints of the existing building, to evolve a series of interventions within the existing façade, public lobbies and court spaces.
The original façade design has a strong philosophical basis and a rigorous hierarchy of elements capturing the interior functions, environmental protection and construction technique. This has been respected whilst amending it to reflect the contemporary approach of the courts, and the collaborative stair linking judicial chambers. There is now an improved environmental performance with energy savings of 20%, potable water savings of 50% and use of sustainable and renewable materials
The Number One Court is the main ceremonial room, which provides a dignified public place for its processes to proceed with respect, with refined acoustics and enhanced visibility. The concept included reference to the facetted sandstone faces of Sydney Cove.