The design of BLP offers new facilities at four Magistrates Courts locations in Melbourne and metropolitan Victoria, to provide additional space to promote the streamlined operation of Specialist Family Violence Courts and to improve the safety of family violence participants.

Project Name: Court Services Australia
Studio Name:
Billard Leece Partnership
Location : Victoria, Australia
Photography: Emily Bartlett
Project size: 2020 m2
Completion date: 2020
Building levels: 2

Court Services Australia By Billard Leece Partnership - Sheet1
Reception ©Emily Bartlett

BLP was commissioned to plan and deliver safer environments for impacted family members in four specialist family violence courts across Melbourne and metropolitan Victoria, including Ballarat, Frankston, Heidelberg, and Moorabbin, following findings reported by the Royal Commission on Family Violence in 2016.

After site analysis and consultation with multiple stakeholders, BLP developed key opportunities and constraints for each court, along with the identification of possible development zones and scenarios for safe environments. These were then analysed to create a preferred option for each site by the project team and stakeholders.

Court Services Australia By Billard Leece Partnership - Sheet2
Interview Room ©Emily Bartlett

The project brief included the development of an additional secure entrance to the court building and a separate suite of spaces, including public counters, support spaces for employees, waiting areas, interview rooms, and public amenities.

In order to prevent any interaction between opposing parties, a separate entry was created for existing courtrooms.

Court Services Australia By Billard Leece Partnership - Sheet3
Waiting Area ©Emily Bartlett

To enable video conferencing and have remote witness capabilities, interview rooms and courts were equipped with modern technology. A key design consideration was creating inclusive and accessible spaces for the diverse communities served by each site.

Overall, the designs provide all court users involved in family violence matters with enhanced and safer court services, including those involved in a case, their support persons, court employees, agency staff, and police.

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