The Darlinghurst Court House, designed by Mortimer Lewis and James Barnet, s located on the northern side of Oxford Street and occupies a site that is also bounded by Darlinghurst Road to the east and Forbes Street to the west. The court house is a State Heritage listed item, and has an associated 1970 addition which faces Darlinghurst road. The building also faces the wide intersection of Oxford and Flinders Street and Taylor Square.
To improve security measures, a new secure entrance gatehouse pavilion has been designed and built with direct access via an existing gate in the stone and iron fence to Oxford St. The challenges for our design team was to provide a contemporary building that fits in this context, while respecting the highly visible and sensitive location.
To minimise visual impact, the massing and scale of the building was reduced with multiple build forms and materials and is contemporary response to the setting. This solution sits well and borrows finishes and material from the heritage item and the newer court house extension.
A number of options were explored with the design team and Heritage NSW, including varying the window types between buildings and using several different types of coloured and textured porcelain clad as well as metal panel for individual facades. The result is a fine pavilion inserted to a visually sensitive precinct.