Supreme Court revels in more shortlist glory

Supreme Court revels in more shortlist glory

Wellington’s new Supreme Court building is on a role. Along with its nomination in the 2010 World Architecture Festival Awards, the Warren and Mahoney designed building has also been shortlisted for the prestigious IStructEStructural Awards.

“It is gratifying that a New Zealand heritage building is receiving recognition at the highest levels on the world stage,” says Warren and Mahoney director Roy Wilson.

The project involved the construction of a new Supreme Court building, together with the restoration of the neighbouring 130-year-old High Court, a Category I historic building. 

The new two-storey Supreme Court building symbolises the transparency of New Zealand’s justice system. Its design aims to complement, not overpower, its venerable partner, the old High Court.

Holmes Consulting Group provided structural engineering support and helped ensure that several key design features that required significant structural input achieved the desired aesthetics. These elements include the external bronze screen that relates to the adjacent heritage building, the spectacular main courtroom and the elegant helical access stair.

“Integrating the two contrasting buildings presented both architectural and structural challenges. The unique nature of the project required a holistic design approach to ensure the architecture, structure and services could co-exist in harmony,” says Wilson.

Project director with Holmes Consulting Eva Cutriss says the project has shown how old and new can be successfully integrated. 

“The restoration of this significant heritage building and introduction of the new Supreme Court required the use of specialist techniques and cutting-edge technology to deliver a quality project,” she says.
The structural solution addresses the high seismic activity of Wellington, delivering a spectacular modern building and minimal structural intrusion into the heritage building.

The World Architecture Festival Awards launched in 2008 and showcase the work of the international architectural community, while the IStructE Structural Awards were established in1968 to reward the work of the world’s most talented structural designers, bringing to light projects that lead the industry's development.

Warren and Mahoney are heading to Barcelona in November to present their case to the World Architecture Festival Award judges, while a Holmes Consulting team will travel to the UK in November for the IStructE Structural Awards.

Check out Idealog’s story on the Supreme Court here.

Photo credit: Paul McCredie

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