Durham Region Courthouse, Oshawa Architecture, Canadian Court Building, Ontario Design
Durham Region Courthouse : Oshawa Building
Judicial Building in Ontario, Canada – design by WZMH Architects
17 Aug 2011
Durham Consolidated Courthouse
Design: WZMH Architects, Toronto
Location: Oshawa, east of Toronto, Canada
Photographs: Shai Gil
With its carefully scaled massing and richly patterned cladding of spandrel and clear glass, the Durham Consolidated Courthouse makes a significant contribution to the civic architecture of the emerging urban framework of downtown Oshawa. Its bold, modern vocabulary emphasizes transparency and openness, both for users and passers-by. A large outdoor public space, Courthouse Square, acts as the forecourt to the building entrance and creates opportunities for civic engagement.
The scale of the main entrance pavilion on the square establishes a sense of dignity, appropriate for the front door of a courthouse. The courthouse elevations are highly transparent, using clear glass with a rich mosaic of white ceramic frit glass panels. Exhibiting a new typology for a typical courtroom floor the design has a ‘back to back’ arrangement of courtrooms that results in short walking distances for judges and staff and makes natural light and outdoor views available to courtroom waiting areas and public circulation.
Providing badly needed space for the province´s judicial system, this six-storey structure houses 33 courtrooms, including associated support space and facilities for holding prisoners for a total of 40,000sm facility. For planning efficiency, high-volume functions are located at or near grade.
The Durham Consolidated Courthouse is the first government building in Ontario to achieve LEED Gold, Certified by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
A compact plan with a low ratio of exterior wall to enclosed floor area minimizes the area of the exterior envelope, reducing energy consumption. A pattern of spandrel glass panels reduces the percentage of vision glass contributing to an overall building energy consumption that is 42% less than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings.
The courthouse received the 2011 RAIC Building Award of Excellence Green-Building Award and the 2008 AIA Certificate of Merit.
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