The redevelopment of the Port Augusta Law Courts was a unique opportunity to build a modern Court facility specifically in a rural setting. The new facility replaced an early 1900's traditional English Style building, which only had one Courtroom. The new design incorporated a unique Magistrates Aboriginal Court with an expansive view of the Spencer Gulf and an external mediation area in an indigenous-themed landscape. The building also contained a multi-purpose Courtroom, a jury Courtroom, various meeting administration and jury rooms, secure interview facilities, holding cells with external courtyards, and judge, clerk and magistrate offices.
The Estuarine silts and clay presented a challenge to the site preparation and foundations, which was solved using a local contractor's mini piling rig suited to this facility. WGA worked closely with the contractor to generate an economical ground-level design working with the mini piles.
Considerable effort was placed on open space design and natural light for handling prisoners awaiting trial and the Court facilities. The project's hero was the unique indigenous outdoor consultation area adjacent to the courtrooms. It allowed formal hearings to be made in a non-threatening external environment with views over the gulf.
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