Manukau Precinct Project
 

Manukau Precinct Project

Client:
Ministry of Justice

Location:
Auckland

Completion:
2015

Size:
15,000m2

Project Value:
$40m

Design Partner
Rewi Thompson

Contact:
Michael Thomson

The Manukau District Court opened in 2000 to provide district court services for the Manukau area and jury court services for South Auckland, including areas covered by two other district courts. Very quickly it became apparent that the growing demands of court usage in South Auckland exceeded the space available.

Architectus was commissioned in association with the late Rewi Thompson in 2010 by the Ministry of Justice to prepare concepts for 13 new courtrooms and a significant expansion of associated facilities for the Justice Precinct in Manukau. Subsequently the Ministry undertook modelling of Auckland-wide courthouse demands, resulting in predictions of lesser demand than previously assumed. A revised brief was proposed and the project commenced at a reduced scale.

The design is an addition that respects the materiality and form of the existing building without seeking to replicate it and which serves as a backdrop to a new public open space to the east designed, as was the rest of the landscaping, in collaboration with Rewi. A new entry has been created from this open space to a redesigned courtyard and the existing entrance replaced with a glazed screen which provides acoustic separation, while retaining a visual connection between the courtyard and the adjacent road.

The existing building has been extensively reorganised and new circulation routes for staff and the judiciary have been added. The jury courts have been moved to the new extension, and replaced with hearing rooms or summary (non jury) courts.

The new wing contains, on two floors, three standard jury courts and a larger multi defendant court. A third floor, currently vacant, can accommodate two more jury courts or four summary courts. To the rear of the building a new street has been created in conjunction with Auckland Transport which provides parking and improved access for both the public, via the open space to the east, and the judges and staff.

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“The Manukau District Court upgrade involved a re-rationalisation of the existing Auckland Architecture Award-winning building designed by Noel Lane and Architects New Zealand. The original entry courtyard has been revived as an inner relaxed space in an otherwise stressful environment, via the repositioning of the main entry and simplification of the security layers. Landscaped elements of the courtyard are repeated in the ātea area to the repositioned entry, work which gives the building new life and which bears the sensitive hand of the late Rewi Thompson, in one of his last projects. The new courts express the separate circulation route of the judiciary externally with a glass-block ribbon across existing and new forms; the judges are temporarily suspended in a cloud-like light before confronting the reality of the cases in front of them”.

NZIA Auckland Jury Citation 2017

Client:
Ministry of Justice

Location:
Auckland

Completion:
2015

Size:
15,000m2

Project Value:
$40m

Design Partner
Rewi Thompson

Contact:
Michael Thomson

Awards

NZIA Auckland Architecture Award – Public 2017