Canadian Consulting Engineer

Calgary Courts Centre

The Calgary Courts Centre, which officially opened in January, houses both federal and provincial courts: the Court of Queen's Bench, and the Provincial Court of Alberta.

May 1, 2008   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Calgary Courts Centre, which officially opened in January, houses both federal and provincial courts: the Court of Queen’s Bench, and the Provincial Court of Alberta.

At 1 million sq. ft. (93,000-m2) and with 73 courtrooms, it is the largest court complex in North America and the second largest in the world. Located at 5th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue SW, the $300-million complex spans an entire block. It is the first highrise courthouse in Canada, with two towers of 20 and 24 storeys, linked by a 26-storey atrium (see cover photo) connected to Calgary’s closed-bridge elevated walkway system.

Extensive glass walls in the building give an impression of transparency and represent the idea that justice “should be open and visible to all.” However, to maintain security, it is necessary to keep populations separate, and yet bring them together in the courtrooms. Airport-style electronic security equipment is used to screen visitors. Prisoners arrive in a secure holding area in the basement, and then are shuttled to courtrooms via secure private elevators. The elevator has a direct connection to the prisoner dock within each courtroom.

There are four specialty courtrooms, including a large trial courtroom and an Aboriginal courtroom. Audio-visual equipment in the courtrooms includes amplified speakers, digital recording, wireless microphones and LCD screens.

Kasian is the principal architect and interior designer. Other consultants included Stantec (civil/structural), Hemisphere (mechanical), Stebnicki & Partners (electrical), Carlos Ott (design), Leber Rubes (code), RWDI (wind), H. H. Angus (elevators), Weaymouth & Assoc. (security), Spillis (planning), NORR (envelope), BKL (acoustics)


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