Architect wants to create 'the ACT's court' in new precinct
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Architect wants to create 'the ACT's court' in new precinct

The architect of the new courts precinct says he wants to create a building that is distinctly Canberran.

Architect Cameron Lyon joined Attorney-General Simon Corbell and Juris Partnership general manager David Lovell on Tuesday to tour a mock courtroom in Hume, created to give judges, corrective services, prosecutors and others a rough idea of what is planned.

From left, architect Cameron Lyon, Juris Partnership general manager David Lovell, and Attorney-General Simon Corbell who toured the mock courtroom on Tuesday.

From left, architect Cameron Lyon, Juris Partnership general manager David Lovell, and Attorney-General Simon Corbell who toured the mock courtroom on Tuesday.

Photo: Supplied

The major infrastructure project will see the ACT Supreme Court revamped and joined with the Magistrates and Children's Courts, forming a new four-storey complex in Civic.

The $150-million project will significantly upgrade the current ageing facilities, particularly the ACT Supreme Court, which is long out-of-date.

View from the bench in a mock courtroom at Hume.

View from the bench in a mock courtroom at Hume.

Photo: Supplied
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The project will be the product of a private-public partnership between the government and the Juris Partnership, a consortium of companies.

Mr Lyon spoke about his vision for the precinct at the mock courtroom in Hume on Tuesday.

He said several design features will make the courts precinct distinctly Canberran, including undulating roof features designed to represent the Brindabellas, and furniture made of recycled wood donated to the ACT by other states for the Supreme Court building.

"It's important that the courts are not a generic court building built in the ACT, that it actually reflects some component of being the ACT's courthouse," he said.

"There's a range of pieces that will make this project the ACT's court."

The mock courtroom is considerably larger than those currently in use.

It features a flexible dock for the accused, in which a defendant can sit freely on the courtroom floor as usual, or placed in a secure area, if needed.

A range of parties who use the courts regularly - including support services, corrections, prosecutors, judges, and magistrates - have begun visiting the mock room. They will offer feedback on whether it suits their needs.

Mr Corbell said it was "very, very encouraging" to see such detail being put into the planning of the new court precinct.

"Getting the circulation spaces right, the lines of sight right, making sure everyone is able to move about the courtroom and do their job efficiently, is really why this mock courtroom has been built," Mr Corbell said.

"What it really does demonstrate is we're going to have a very high quality ACT courts building that's going to meet the needs of our building for many, many years to come," he said.

Mr Lyon said he was conscious of preserving the history of the courts precinct, while ensuring that the new design reflects the values and practices of a modern justice system.

"I think when you consider where the courts are coming from, that they're operating out of 30 and 60-year-old buildings, is that the culture and practices of the court have changed considerably over the past decades," he said.