Architect's Knowledge ResourceDocuments
Durham Consolidated Courthouse
Oshawa/Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
The Durham Consolidated Courthouse, located in Oshawa, Ontario, amalgamates Superior Court and Ontario Court justice services. The six-story, 451,620-square-foot building houses 33 courtrooms, three motion rooms, conference/settlement rooms, related support functions, detention facilities, and private parking for staff and judges. A prisoner holding facility with a sally port is located below grade. The typical courtroom floor has a simple plan that is legible and allows easy orientation. Visitors arrive at a single public entrance that gives access to a two-story entrance lobby. Courthouse Square acts as the entrance forecourt to the building. A highly transparent facade allows views into the building, engaging local citizens in the activities within.
The design was predicated on several key objectives: (1) efficient, secure, and functional plan—high-traffic functions are located at or close to grade, and secure and separate circulation systems have been provided for public, judges, staff, and prisoners ; (2) provision of daylight—to reduce stress for participants in courthouse proceedings, substantial daylight was provided not only to public waiting areas but also to jury deliberation rooms; (3) discreet vehicle access—access and egress for judges and prisoner vehicles was provided to the north so as to not be visible from either the main entrance or the three adjacent streets; (4) sustainability—the building is certified LEED® Gold NC; (5) flexibility/adaptability for future change—the third floor has been designed for future conversion; foundations have been designed to add an additional floor of office space; and (6) reinforcing the emerging urban framework—building massing responds to opportunities to create significant vistas, provide pedestrian scale, and align with the geometry of adjacent streets. A compact plan provides short walking distances for both prisoners and the judiciary staff. A scissor stair design allows for efficient exiting and the opportunity for separate evacuation stairs for prisoners and judges.
Photographer: Shai Gil
Type of Facility
Type of Construction
Area of Building
Site development costs: $9,000,000
Building costs: $181,000,000
Total construction costs: $190,000,000
Project Delivery Type
Status of Project
Number of courts: 1
Type of courts: criminal/high security,civil,domestic,juvenile,hearings
Service population: 561,258
PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
Associate Architects/Interior Design
The Mitchell Partnership (TMP)
Electrical and Civil Engineer
Johnson Controls Ltd.