Courtyard Pavilions Parramatta Justice Precinct, Sydney

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Courtyard Pavilions Parramatta Justice Precinct
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

In Parramatta's growing legal precinct, Bates Smart was responsible for the Masterplan, the new Justice Precinct Offices for the NSW Attorney General's Department and the centrally located courtyard. The courtyard celebrates the historic significance of the site and interprets its history to a broad audience, through landscape, archaeology and built interpretations.

Archaeological excavation undertaken in a two stage process by Casey & Lowe provided evidence of the site's role in the settlement and expansion of Parramatta, including convict settlement dating back to 1792 and the continuous provision of health services. Unlike other heritage sites in Parramatta where buildings remain intact, these frail archaeological historic remains require imagination and interpretation to help visitors perceive what may have been.This is provided by a series of two and three dimensional interpretive layers which reflect specific periods of the history of the site.

The main objective of the courtyard design is to ensure that the fragile archaeological material is protected, and as much of the archaeological evidence as possible is revealed and interpreted. All public spaces, including the heritage courtyard, are designed to maximise external thermal comfort, given the more extreme microclimate of Parramatta when compared with Sydney's more coastally-located urban centre.

Two single-storey pavilion structures form one of these layers and provide a contemporary interpretation of the Third Colonial Hospital and Kitchen Wing (1818 – 1844) as well as a protective enclosure for the exposure and display of archaeological remains. The buildings are designed as lightweight steel frame, glass and timber structures located above the archaeological layer, in order to minimise any impact on the existing remains.

Attorney General's Department, New South Wales

570 sqm