The Ministry of Justice sought to redevelop the existing
Timaru Courthouse as the existing buildings no longer met the standards of the
Ministry. Part of the existing 130 year
old Courthouse was demolished and the retained sections sympathetically
incorporated into the new design, restoring them as close to the original
condition as practicable, while being fitted out for its new use as office
space. A conservation plan was required
due to part of the existing buildings being category B listed Heritage
buildings under the Timaru District Plan.
A new building comprising two courtrooms, two jury
retirement rooms, two hearing rooms, judges chambers and associated
administration and public spaces, was added to the rear of the Courthouse to
provide the necessary space for modern jury trials. It features advanced
security systems capable of supporting the latest technology, including video
conferencing and an evidence recording service.
High quality, natural, durable materials were selected for
their sustainable and energy efficient properties, and were wherever possible,
locally manufactured. Coloured masonry, Timaru blue stone and zinc cladding
were extensively used. Internal spaces
were designed to utilise natural light and ventilation as much as possible.
Native timber veneered panels (matai and tawa) were used to provide warmth and
acoustic properties. Feature roof lanterns bring in natural light and create a
modern version of the old court space.
Sustainable design features were incorporated; use of
materials with low embodied energy, use of low toxicity materials and
production methods, use of materials with low life cycle energy demands,
natural ventilation and lighting where practical, double-glazing and energy
efficient glazing, high levels of insulation, low energy light fittings and a
building management system to maximise the efficiency of the above
elements. Salvaged heat from the HVAC
system is used for underfloor heating of public spaces.
‘The Architect has successfully enhanced the community
presence of the original courthouse building and cleverly integrated the
complex functional requirements of a modern operating courthouse. Subtle and
generous architectural gestures demonstrate awareness of, and care for, the
comfort (and safety)of the users of a building that by necessity, deals with
difficult and stressful matters. Low key sustainability features complete the
picture of a well-resolved public building’ NZIA Award Panel 2011.