New Supreme and District Courts

Today I was excited to walk through the recently completed law courts on George Street.  It was a bit stark, but nonetheless, it is a great new pedestrian connection from Roma St and Parklands through to the Tank Street Bridge.

Around June 2012, I remember the media “controversy” about the government spend on public art, and it saddens me that the “Art+Place” funding got cut in the new government re-shuffle.  Its predecessor policy “Art Built-In” (for new government buildings) set an inspiring 2% of the building budget into public art.  I remember first learning about it at uni and found it a remarkable policy.

It came up at the Flying Arts Forum, that the public art budget for the new Supreme Court was about $3million, but had the 2% still applied it would have been $12million.  What a significant difference!

Public art is so subjective and will always have its “value” judged differently – but surely most people could agree it makes public realms more visually and culturally interesting.  Our cities must be better for it.

I feel like design (architecture and landscape architecture) can also get “cut” from big building budgets too, and using public art could have been a way to leverage more priority and focus on overall integrated design.  How art & design is understood and valued in State Government capital works was part of my previous work and I think still needs to be looked at.  I hope that we might aspire to follow models like CABE’s Better Public Buildings.


One thought on “New Supreme and District Courts

  1. Muzz says:

    I’m still undecided, but it would be so much better if they’d put the ped-cycle link over Roma Street, linking to the parklands.

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