A landmark for environmentally and culturally sensitive civic buildings

The design of the new Kununurra Courthouse, on the site of the former courthouse, interprets local physical qualities to capture the area’s uniqueness in a building that is dignified and welcoming yet has a sense of gravitas.

The new facility is heavily insulated, sealed and pressurised to combat heat and humidity — with sunshade devices to further reduce heat load and provide privacy.

The design of the roof references distant hills and landscapes, with the close proximity of Kelly’s Knob and Hidden Valley. These landmarks visually and experientially connect the community and visitors to Kununurra in a manner that is respectful and sophisticated.

  • Aboriginal artists from Miriwoong country were engaged to create artworks on ‘law and culture’
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  • Best Regional Project, MBA WA Excellence in Construction Awards
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  • Designed and built for a min. 50 years’ operation
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Reducing environmental impact and bringing social benefit to the community.

The architecture re-introduces the value of the regional courthouse with a landmark civic building that will represent the local community and promote the role of the courthouse as a centre for dispute resolution.

The building is designed for an economic design life of 50 years and incorporates the following facilities:

  • Two courtrooms including a jury courtroom and a magistrates courtroom;
  • Mediation and pre-trial conference facilities;
  • Jury deliberation area with support facilities;
  • Trials and hearing support rooms;
  • Judicial chambers and support facilities Custody provisions;
  • Courts administration – registries and public service counters and;
  • Public foyer and waiting areas, including secure outdoor courtyards.
The Kununurra Courthouse is designed with great humanity; a culturally appropriate facility that enriches the user’s experience of the building, regardless of the reason for their attendance.

Logistics alignment for a guaranteed delivery framework

Due to the remote location of this project, exceptional pre-planning and onsite programming was required to ensure that the works were delivered on time. The majority of materials had to be transported from major hubs, so it was imperative that materials were available for when the various installation trades arrived on site to reduce avoidable downtime.

The challenges of building in remote locations like Kununurra are enormous in terms of skilled labour supply, the availability of freight and climatic factors. 

The detailed finishes for this project involved stone cladding to the external façade and feature roof structure, along with extensive internal timber panelling and a technical services installation package centred on security systems.

Local indigenous artworks have been fully integrated into the building fabric in an endeavour to minimise ongoing costs caused by vandalism.