Most people accessing justice services are seeking help and support. The design of court buildings must reflect and respond to these needs. In the traditional model of court design, many people find court buildings and processes confusing and alienating. The culture and language is intimidating and not reflective of a modern Aotearoa.
From an architectural perspective we need to re-imagine the design of court buildings and spaces and consider a new integrated community model that has a design focus on the care and well-being of both people and society. A more holistic design approach will help drive a new mindset and must play a pivotal role. The challenge is achieving these changes in innovative ways that counter any entrenched thinking which could inhibit implementation.
Modern courts architecture needs to be aspirational and give expression to the idea that the judicial institution is something to be valued, respected and part of the community it serves. The architecture should embrace human-centric design, enhance people’s lives, consider cultural diversity and values, have enduring meaning and purpose, incorporate design aspects unique to Aotearoa, respect place, and provide distinctive and memorable experiences for all users and visitors, both now and in future.
Find out more in this white paper from WSP Principal Architect Colin Corsbie:
- The arrival experience - safety versus security.
- The Cognitive Map -understanding the environment.
- Design treatment of public spaces.
- Flexible courtrooms and adaptable spaces.
- Provision for support agencies.
- Māori engagement and philosophy.
- Sustainability and responsible environmental stewardship.