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Supreme Court of New Zealand

Warren and Mahoney’s award-winning design adds a 2011 NZ Architecture Award to its accolades.

Supreme Court of New Zealand


April 27th, 2011

The Supreme Court of New Zealand in Wellington, designed by Warren and Mahoney, is a fusion of old and new, traditional and forward-looking.


The existing Old High Court Building dating back to 1879 received a complete refurbishment and a striking new neighbouring component.




A standout feature of the new building is a bronze exterior screen, designed in collaboration with New Zealand artist Neil Dawson, representing the Pohutakawa and Rata trees which, in Maori culture, symbolise shelter and leadership.


The new elliptical-shaped courtroom features an oeil de boeuf that provides light and symbolises justice from above.


The project was recognised at the 2011 New Zealand Architecture Awards last week in both the Heritage and Conservation and Interior Architecture categories.

The jury praised the Court’s interior as an “extraordinary room displaying, in its joinery and execution, a high level of refined craftsmanship.”

“The building’s history has been celebrated, while the insertion of contemporary furniture has allowed functional and relevant occupation,” the jury added.



For the full story behind the Supreme Court of New Zealand by Warren and Mahoney, see Issue 44 of Indesign magazine, available now.

Warren and Mahoney

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