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    Tanner Kibble Denton re-imagines the textured, pitched-pavilion form of a 1903 courthouse

    Kirsty Sier

    The Wagga Wagga Courthouse building is a texturally-rich, ‘roughcast’ building of brick and metal. It is also 114 years old.

    Although the building’s robust envelope was structurally sound, as with any building that age, it was in need of an upgrade. In their design for the redevelopment of the 1903 building, Tanner Kibble Denton Architects were sure to respect the original form, while adding services and facilities that are vital to a modern-day court building.

    The recently completed Wagga Wagga Courthouse redevelopment features additional courtrooms and hearing rooms, a new registry office that is integrated with the court complex, and improvements to security and other miscellaneous building services.

    Although Tanner Kibble Denton applied new façade elements to the courthouse, they ensured all modifications drew upon key attributes of the original form: verticality, pitched-pavilion roof forms, face brickwork and painted ‘roughcast’ render with applied metal and timber detailing.

    Tanner Kibble Denton added vertical panel cladding with full-height glazed strips to the original façade, along with a combination of smooth-faced and precast concrete panels. This is complemented by strategically-placed metal blades and detailing, which “[allow] the new building to have a richness of texture that acknowledges the 1903 building character”.

    “The bulk of the new building sits away from the original building, with the connection points being an interpretation of the strong roof-scape,” explains Alex Kibble, project and managing director at Tanner Kibble Denton Architects. “[This complements] the essential character of the original federation building. The new building is integrated, yet not subservient. It brings presence to the justice system in a friendly and contemporary way.”

    The re-designed Wagga Wagga Courthouse was officially opened on 14 March 2017.

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