Modern justice

A variety of building forms made the courthouse a showcase for main contractor Abigroup's skill diversity
QLD Department of Justice and Attorney architecture, daylighting, house, real estate, window, brown
QLD Department of Justice and Attorney

Contemporary and sculptural, the courthouse has an engaging aesthetic. However, as with many design successes, the completed building gives only a limited indication of the skill set required to construct it.

Abigroup was appointed managing contractor to oversee the design and construction of all works on the project, says project manager Steven Hay.

"Abigroup was provided with a project brief from the client, as well as preliminary drawings. When the company was awarded the contract in July 2007 we assumed responsibility for the entire project."


Exterior view of the entrance architecture, building, facade, house, metropolitan area, mixed use, residential area, black, blue
Exterior view of the entrance

On any multifaceted project, there are problems that call for troubleshooting. A significant issue on this project was overcoming a ground water problem. Effectively, a river ran under the site as Abigroup discovered when the company began excavation for the basement.

"A significant redesign of the stormwater system was needed to overcome this issue, for surrounding areas and around the site," says Hay. "In conjunction with the civil engineer Robert Bird Group, we were able to design a system that enabled us to continue with the excavation and structural works, while the stormwater was diverted into a new water system that we constructed around the perimeter of the site."

The innovative design of the building was itself a challenge to the experienced construction company. All colour, materials and finishes were selected by ABM Cox Rayner Architects as part of its commission to design the building. Externally, Abigroup used a combination of zinc sheeting, glazing, off-form concrete and black stainless steel sheeting to form the facade. Internally, the feature walls and ceilings have been constructed using timber veneer, fabric panels and stone tiles which contrast with the surrounding painted plasterboard finishes.

Large room with unique windows architecture, ceiling, condominium, daylighting, interior design, lobby, mixed use, real estate, gray, white
Large room with unique windows

"An essential part of this fit-out was the close co-operation between the architects, owners and contractors," says Hay. "Finished on time and to budget, the Ipswich Courthouse is a testament to the close work habits and versatility of the Abigroup team."

For details, contact Abigroup Contractors, phone (07) 3020 8200. Website: www.abigroup.com.au.

Jun 04, 2010
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