19 Jan 2010

New Supreme Court building draws mixed reviews

9:22 pm on 19 January 2010

The architectural merits of the new Supreme Court in Wellington have drawn mixed reviews.

The $80.7 million building and the newly restored Victorian-era High Court adjoining it were opened by Prince William on Monday.

Project architect Roy Wilson, of Warren & Mahoney, says the bronze mesh on the exterior represents rata and pohutakawa flowers. But some observing the building on Monday did not think the look was akin to native bush, and said the concept was out of proportion and disappointing.

The Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias, told guests at the opening that the design has found favour with the judiciary.

Tours for members of the public begin next month.

The original budget for the project of $65 million was set before the extent of water damage to the old building could be fully assessed.