Calgary, AB – November 18th, 2010 – The Calgary Courts Centre has been recognized as a ‘special citation project’ in the third volume of The Retrospective of Courthouse Design 2001-2010. Published by the National Center for State Courts, which is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, this prestigious journal is the only publication of its kind in the world to be dedicated exclusively to courthouse architecture. The collection chronicles the major global courthouse trends of the past decade and illustrates the architectural innovations and solutions incorporated in judicial work environments. The publication also serves both the judiciary and design community by providing a comprehensive reference for future development efforts.
Designed by Kasian Architecture Interior Design And Planning Ltd., (Kasian), in partnership with NORR Limited Architects and Engineers and AECOM, the Calgary Courts Centre is regarded as one of the most advanced courthouses in the world. An independent panel of design jurors from the Retrospective of Courthouse Design reviewed hundreds of courthouses from around the world before selecting the final projects for citation. The panel commended the Calgary Courts Centre for overall design excellence: “The project is striking in numerous ways, beginning with the exceptionally rational arrangement of the forms and the combining of large scale with elegant details and articulation. The overall logic of the building and hierarchy of functions are easy to comprehend. The result was indeed an appropriate and refreshing expression of openness and transparency in the very tight urban setting.”
Copies of the Retrospective for Courthouse Design will be distributed for free to members of the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators, Court Managers and Judges. In addition, State Court Administrators of the 50 US states and attendees of the American Institute of Architects International Conference on Courthouse Design will also be provided with copies of the journal. The citation award is being presented to Kasian at the seventh annual JFR/NCSC Retrospective Awards Banquet in Boston this month.
Bill Chomik is a Principal with Kasian and leader of the design team for the Calgary Courts Centre.
“This courthouse is setting the benchmark for new court facilities globally, through its innovations linked to transparency, security, sustainability and efficiency. It is also significant because it effectively combines two distinct court systems within a secure closed environment,” says Chomik.
The $300 million Calgary Courts Centre was completed on time and on budget in 2007. Designed to inspire confidence in the administration of justice and respect for the rule of law, the complex consolidates two court systems under one roof in the form of the Court of Queen’s Bench and the four divisions of the Provincial Court. The building is comprised of two towers, respectively 20 and 24 storeys high, connected by a soaring glass atrium. In addition, extensive use of windows and natural light creates an airy, light-filled space that conveys open, transparent and accessible justice.
In total, this secure 1.1 million square foot facility houses 73 courtrooms, including specially equipped areas suitable for gang-related trials and a unique aboriginal court with a healing circle. The courthouse also provides three separate and distinct circulation systems for the public, prisoners and the judiciary.
The Calgary Courts Centre is built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver specifications, and incorporates a range of sustainable design, construction and operational features. These include a high efficiency mechanical system, extensive use of recycled materials including steel and rebar and significant water conservation measures. LEED® is a voluntary, consensus-based building rating that supports the design, construction and operation of high-performance buildings that aim to reduce environmental impact.
Phase Two of the Calgary Courts Centre, which includes a 700 stall public underground parkade and a vibrant 1.5 acre urban park, is currently under construction. Scheduled for completion in spring 2011, the new park will incorporate indigenous trees, plants, benches, stone blocks and a cascading waterfall that will frame the existing Calgary Courts Centre.
Kasian is one of the top 100 architecture, interior design and planning firms in the world. We have offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Dubai, Mumbai and Shanghai. Over the past 25 years we have earned global recognition for our collaborative approach to design, resulting in award-winning spaces and sustainable environments for people everywhere. Our landmark projects within Alberta include the 44 acre South Health Campus, the largest greenfield social infrastructure project currently under construction in North America, and the Taylor Family Digital Library, (TFDL), an innovative convergence of libraries, historical archives, arts museum, scholarly publishing and student academic support services.