Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts in Wellington remodelled to create flexible spaces

Flexible office space and meeting rooms that can be court, mediation or hearing rooms for Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts in Wellington
Story by: Colleen Hawkes
The Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts in Auckland, ceiling, floor, flooring, furniture, interior design, office, table, gray
The Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts in Auckland, have been remodelled by Stephenson & Turner to provide flexible work spaces and meeting rooms.

There are many ways to configure a square room, and that's exactly what happens in this specialist court facility.

The Specialist Courts, at Level 1, Chorus House in Wellington, were designed by Stephenson & Turner for the Ministry of Justice to fulfil a varied design brief.

Architect Alby Yap says the Ministry required an office environment and a suite of facility rooms for the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, and the Environment and Employment Courts.

"The former work space was typical of a lot of office environments a disorientating rabbit warren of claustrophobic corridors and divided spaces lit by harsh fluorescent light.


The Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts in Auckland ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, glass, interior design, lobby, real estate, wall, brown, yellow
The Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts in Auckland have been extensively remodelled by Stephenson & Turner, with construction by Fletchers. The refit provides a mix of separate offices with glazed walls, and a large open-plan area with improved sightlines.

"The Ministry had a particular need for flexible spaces that could be configured into hearing rooms, courtrooms, mediation rooms and even interview spaces, which is a paradigm shift away from dedicated spaces that are often unused."

The Ministry also needed a suite of rooms that could be arranged for multiple purposes.

"We created one large room that can be freely converted into a hearing or mediation room, or a courtroom; and a smaller courtroom. The larger room is almost square, which emphasises equality. The walls are treated with equal importance so that any orientation of the room feels natural."

Yap says because the walls may be used to display evidence, they have a textural surface that makes an additional layer of texture meaningful. This avoids a cluttered or dishevelled appearance.

The Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts in Auckland, ceiling, floor, flooring, furniture, interior design, office, table, gray
The Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts in Auckland, have been remodelled by Stephenson & Turner to provide flexible work spaces and meeting rooms.

Within the main office area, Stephenson & Turner opened up the entire space, increasing visibility, so people could see right across to the other side of the room.

"This affirms a sense of place and orientation. The separated offices were fully glazed and positioned to make the best use of natural light. They appear inviting and open, avoiding any feelings of hierarchy and separation."

The Ministry's preference was for an open-plan work space arranged formally, yet designed to encourage communication, with moveable partitions in fresh colours and with reduced height at the sides. Each cluster was allocated mobile storage units that can double as small work tables, enabling flexibility and ownership over the arrangement.

Timber, which had formerly dominated the office, was scaled back to be a statement feature. This provides a connection to the natural environment, while making room for modern texture and colour, with clean tones.

Jun 17, 2015

Credit list

Project
Ministry of Justice Specialist Courts, Level 1, Chorus House, Auckland
Construction company
Fletchers
Quantity surveyor
Rider Levett Bucknall
Hydraulic and structural
Beca
Audiovisual
Evidence Technology
Window and door joinery
Best Doors; Aspect; Dorma
Tile flooring
Jacobsen
Flooring
Interface carpet from Inzide
Ceiling
Forman
Paints and varnishes
Resene
Heating and cooling
Holyoake; Temperzone; Mitsubishi
Additional furniture
Alloy Fold; Hydestor; Staging Direct; Sage Manufacturing
Architect and interior designer
Alby Yap,
Mechanical and electrical engineer
Beca
Acoustic engineer
Earcon Acoustics
Project management
PHC Ltd
Signage
Frampton Signs
Hardware
Ingersoll-Rand
Wall tiles
Tile Warehouse; Heritage Tiles
Wallcoverings
Woven Image Echo Panel in Yolk On; Woven Image Gathering in Terracotta; Design Tints
Veneers
Eveneer in Golden Teak
Lighting
Fagerhult; Modus
Office furniture and chairs
Aspect Furniture Systems
Security system
Fort Lock
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