The Kununurra Replacement Courthouse services the small town of Kununurra in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It plays an important role in responding to the region’s social complexities and recognising the different needs of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and, above all “manifests a special humanity”.
The project was designed by TAG Architects and Iredale Pederson Hook Architects. The courthouse design interprets local physical qualities to capture the uniqueness of Kununurra in a building that is dignified and welcoming. The design re-introduces the value of the regional courthouse with a civic, landmark building that will represent the local community and promote the role of the courthouse as a centre for dispute resolution.
The building is designed and organised to draw heavily on Kununurra’s geographic uniqueness, engage with the immediate surrounding context and distant context. This connection is both visual and physical. Natural landmarks, Kelly’s Knob and Hidden Valley are visible from the site; connecting the community and visitors to Kununurra in a manner that is respectful and sophisticated. External and internal materials reflect the layered and fractured nature of the landscape and introduce a materiality that is absolutely unique to Kununurra.
The Kununurra Court House was featured in May/Jun edition of Architecture Australia. The magazine wrote: “This building is remarkable because of its humanity, because of its framing of the lives of its people, and because it has been built with real craft in one of the most remote small towns in Australia”.
As a main supplier wood panels for this project, it was a real task for Decor Systems to have our products delivered to the building site. Our wall panels travel through many modes of transport to get to Kununurra, but they got there and we are proud to take part in such an important project.
Our two products – DecorStyle timber panels and DecorZen panels were used extensively throughout the Kununurra Replacement Courthouse. The solid and smooth look of DecorStyle in various timber finishes “the jarrah, Tasmanian ash and blackwood wall panels and seating zigzag the undulating peripheral walls in the waiting area – like jagged rock formations. Like the work of Hans Sharoun, what is inside is outside”. Adding DecorZen perforated acoustic panels provides a dimension of contrast, at the same time helps improve the acoustic quality of the building.