Modern justice

The new Ipswich Courthouse combines dramatic architecture with up-to-the-minute court facilities in an energy-conscious building that looks to the future
QLD Department of Justice and Attorney architecture, daylighting, house, real estate, window, brown
QLD Department of Justice and Attorney

The new Ipswich Courthouse is designed to meet the needs of the booming region of Southeast Queensland to the west of the state capital, Brisbane.

The Ipswich region has been identified as one of the principal growth areas under the Queensland Government's planning for Southeast Queensland, and the new courthouse is designed to cope with the forecast increase of population over the next 30 years.

Designed by architects ABM Cox Rayner and Ipswich's largest project for a decade, the five-storey building is the centrepiece of a new legal precinct that includes a watch house and 24-hour police station.

While the previous courthouse lacked capacity, the new building has six levels, including a basement level, and accommodates 12 courtrooms, including three District Court criminal jury courtrooms, a children's court and seven magistrate's courtrooms. It provides separate entrances, corridors, lifts and waiting areas for judges, defendants and the public. In addition, the building includes a court registry, judicial chambers, court-related offices and a marriage registry.

QLD Department of Justice and Attorney glass, white
QLD Department of Justice and Attorney

The contemporary courtrooms are set up for video conferencing, electronic display of evidence and digital recording with facilities including a suite for vulnerable witnesses to give video evidence and a family violence victim support area. Increasing safety and enhancing security were key focuses in the courthouse design.

Architecturally, the building is designed to cap the civic access of the Ipswich CBD. This access leads into a landscaped space at the front of the articulated glass, stonework and concrete facade of the courthouse. The entrance, flanked by artwork integrated into the coloured concrete structure, leads into a double-height foyer. From inside, public areas by the courtrooms look out over the courtyard, taking in views of Ipswich and the surrounding hills. Internal finishes incorporate wood panelling and stonework.

The glass facade is orientated to the east and the north, with the western facade largely in concrete. There is a high level of natural light penetration into the public areas and the courtrooms.

Rainwater harvesting is used for toilets and garden watering and solar water heating is also utilised. The building boasts a 23,000L rainwater tank for garden maintenance, low-energy lighting and solar panels. These features deliver the equivalent of a 4 Star Green Star rating for the new Ipswich legal precinct.

QLD Department of Justice and Attorney architecture, facade, house, structure, tourist attraction, wall, brown, gray
QLD Department of Justice and Attorney

Ensuring a safe, people- and environment-friendly building was a key part of the Department of Justice's commitment to an open, accessible justice system.

For details on the Ipswich Courthouse, visit the website:

Jun 04, 2010
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