Category: Recent Work
Project Owner: Ministry of Central Services, Ministry of Justice
Architect/Interior Designer/Landscape Architect of Record: Henry Downing Architects
Structural Consultant: Robb Kullman Engineering LLP
Mechanical Consultant: Daniels Wingerak Engineering Ltd.
Electrical Consultant: PWA Engineering Ltd.
Contractor: Graham Construction and Engineering Ltd.
Additional Consultants: Landscape: Crosby Hanna & Associates
Additions to existing heritage buildings present significant challenges to architects, particularly when located on prominent sites such as this. However, the expansion and renovation of the Court of Queen's Bench has been achieved successfully in a respectful manner here. Massing and materiality are proportionately complementary to the existing building, and wayfinding is dramatically improved through the organizing device of the grand stair in the open atrium. The scheme maintains a modicum of sobriety and gravitas appropriate for the function and image of a courthouse, yet ample glazing on the front elevation imbues the interior with light while providing a sense of connection to the community through views of the street and the striking riverside landscape. Although set back in deference to the immediate context, the upper levels are disappointing in the execution of the façade and choice of cladding, particularly in comparison to the well-resolved substantial base.