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Melbourne’s New William Cooper Justice Center

Melbourne-based architecture firm V Arc has completed a refurbishment of what was a hazardous materials cleanup project at 233 William Street and transformed it into what is now the environmentally-friendly William Cooper Justice Center.

“223 William St, part of Melbourne’s ever growing, ever in demand legal precinct, remained inert for over 10 years riddled with asbestos and other hazardous materials, rendering the Justice building uninhabitable. In addition, the facility required upgrading to meet Government policy on minimal building environmental standards including replacement of the existing façade and the entire building systems and services.

V Arc acted as principle consultant, leading the design of the building and integrated fit-out, which saw the existing courtrooms redesigned to new standards. With input and vision from the Department of Justice however, a new long-term strategy was devised to “re-life” and future proof 223 William Street, now known as the William Cooper Justice Centre.

The design strategies implemented within the William Cooper Justice Centre are unique and distinct from other courts in Melbourne and Victoria, with a strong focus on environmentally and future friendly solutions. From the implementation of chilled beam technology, the use of recycled and environmentally sustainable products such as low VOC paints, veneers and acoustic panelling throughout, to the solar panel and rain water retention initiatives, the building is a leading example of what it means to be ‘green’ within the public sector.

The outcome of the Centre is a unified judicial system. It shows not only the Department of Justice’s commitment to the progress of their justice and mediation processes, but also their embracing of key design strategies and future proofing towards the “re-lifing” of 223 William Street.”

Design: V Arc