State Administrative Tribunal Parry and Rosenthal Architects

The new State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) involved the interior fit out of 12 levels of an existing building located within the Cathedral + Treasury Precinct at 565 Hay Street in Perth, Western Australia. The project includes the accommodation of hearing rooms, mediation rooms, judicial offices, administrative open plan work areas and supporting facilities, with fully integrated audio visual and security systems.

The design of the new facilities reinforces the aims of the SAT to encourage the reduction of disputes through mediation by providing a physical environment which is non-threatening, welcoming and easy to negotiate.

The fitout is accessible, functional, informal and welcoming. An appropriate level of transparency has been woven into the design of the fit-out, helping with wayfinding and providing an environment which is supportive of the process of mediation.

Through detailed consideration of the key design drivers, the experience of arriving and attending mediations at SAT was likened to the experience of wandering through and exploring a forest. This exploration of the atmospheric qualities evoked in nature formed the core theme of the design.

The project features a series of six paintings from local artist, Clare McFarlane, located on levels one to six. Each artwork is notable for its richly layered, painted surface of colour and pattern. The paintings forming the artwork are loosely based upon designs of the Arts and Crafts movement. Abstract forms of tree canopies, in timber, are positioned over each painting to complement the interior design.

Locally sourced materials and products were given preference over imported materials to ensure a sustainable approach and to give the building fit-out a strong local character and identity. A neutral interior palette ensures timelessness in the design over the life of the fit out.