Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs

Administration Building

Location: Honiara, Solomon Islands
Client: Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs
Status: Due 2019 - Under Construction

 

JCA were appointed by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs (MJLA) to undertake the master plan review of the High Court Precinct. The project included a review of the existing facilities and the ability to accommodate expansion over the next 35 years. Existing related entities on neighbouring sites are currently fragmented with no coherent circulation system. The intention is to create a Justice Precinct with a campus providing justice related services to the public. The existing High Court complex consists of an original building that currently accommodates the main high, ceremonial court room. Expansion has occurred organically on the site as required with a series of additional court rooms and associated support services. The MJLA has acquired additional land and developed a brief to construct a new facility to accommodate three justice agencies (Attorney General’s Office, Department of Public Prosecutions and Public Solicitor’s Office). The long term site design is to be staged with the construction of the new Justice Building, additional car parking and the establishment of a central ‘green square’   to be included in Stage 1. The new Justice Building will provide the essential consolidation of key departments allowing better safety for staff and encourage greater connectivity. These elements are deemed significant due to the sensitivity associated with a number of the cases and trails that form part of the court processes but it will also facilitate improved access to information and resources in particular for the DPP and PSO. The building has been planned again as a response firstly to the strategic masterplan but secondly to consider the climatic and environmental conditions of Honiara. The building encourages a long, rectangular shaped floor plan that has sought to implement successful strategies used on the recently completed MoFT Administration Building. This approach to maximising the benefits of natural light not only promote a better more vibrant work environment but has proven in the Solomons to offer genuine operational savings.

The three level building offers a dynamic play with form through light and shadow enhanced by the opportunity for the use of large ceramic tiles to recreate traditional Solomon patterns and motifs - reinforcing the nature of the building as being representative of the people. This strategy has also been utilised to break some of the overall building scale down due in part to the limited size of the surrounding architecture. Covered external corridors continue the tradition of tropical architecture in the region that promotes the use of breezeways. The resultant architecture will present a bold design statement respectful of the culture and location.