One of Wellington’s newest landmark buildings, the Supreme Court of New Zealand, has been shortlisted for two prestigious international awards — the World Architecture Festival Awards and the IStructE Structural Awards.
Architects Warren and Mahoney were behind the striking design and Holmes Consulting Group provided the structural engineering services.
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.
The new building contains several key design features that required significant structural input to achieve 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.
Wellington-based Warren and Mahoney director Roy Wilson says it is gratifying that a New Zealand heritage building is receiving recognition at the highest levels on the world stage.
“Integrating the two contrasting buildings presented both architectural and structural challenges,” Mr Wilson says. “The unique nature of the project required a holistic design approach to ensure the architecture, structure and services could co-exist in harmony.”
Holmes Consulting project director Eva Curtiss says the unique project has seen the successful fusion of old and new, truly challenging all those involved.
“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,” Ms Curtiss says.
“Holmes is very pleased to be part of the consultant team receiving the recognition this project deserves.”
The structural solution addresses the high seismicity of Wellington, delivering a spectacular modern building and minimal structural intrusion into the heritage building.
Warren and Mahoney architects are heading to Barcelona in November to present their case to the World Architecture Festival Award judges.
The Holmes Consulting team will travel to Britain in November for the IStructE Structural Awards.