|Client||Shared Services BC & Provincial Court of British Columbia|
|Size||27,000 SF (2,500 SM) – New; 19,000 SF (1,800 SM) – Renovated|
|Location||Surrey, BC Canada|
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The existing Surrey Courthouse building is a concrete and glass brutalist facility typical of the period providing an expression of institutional solidity. It is part of a campus of concrete and glass government buildings set in a lushly landscaped suburban location, within the Metro Vancouver regional district and metropolitan area in British Columbia, Canada. It has for the most part stood the test of time and is a respectable and dignified courthouse in the modern style of the period. However, it no longer has the capacity to meet the needs of the growing case load, necessitating an addition and renovation to provide additional court capacity and changing support space requirements.
In partnership with Ratio Architecture, NORR was selected as the Architect / Prime Consultant to guide the renovations and an expansion to Surrey Courthouse. The design provided three new courtrooms, including one high security courtroom, one initial appearance room, four settlement conference rooms, 11 holding cells, five interview rooms, seven judicial chambers, in custody consulting cubicles along with related connections to the existing public, private, and secure circulation systems.
The approach to the new addition responds to the growing desire for a justice system more transparent and welcoming. It has a layered approach that matches the layered security requirements of the program. The public circulation is an outer layer, an extension of the existing perimeter system but transformed into a three-story glass atrium that overlooks the surrounding landscape. The inner layer is a concrete volume containing the courtrooms and the secure supporting back-of-house areas. It relates to the adjacent concrete mass of the existing building and has the qualities associated with the ongoing traditional, dignity and enduring solidity of the judicial system while the glass public atrium speaks to a more transparent welcoming and understandable justice system that is accessible to all members of society.
The new addition is positioned in a prominent position on top of sloping landscape adjacent to a main road intersection shielding the rear loading and service area and presenting a new animated facade that provides greater visual presence to the local community as well as providing a view of Mount Baker in the distance.
The balance between security and quality of environment continues in the courtroom design. The surrounding concrete courtroom container is lined with horizontal bands of micro perforated Douglas fir embedded flush into the concrete shell of the walls providing acoustic performance as well as warm character. The ceiling is inflected focusing attention on the dais as well as allowing sunlight to penetrate deep into the courtroom through an opening in the concrete shell that allows borrowed light in from the adjacent public atrium. The large south-facing three-story facade of the atrium was designed with a horizontal terracotta sunscreen or “baguette” system that helps mitigate heat-loading effects of the sun. Air is introduced into both the public atrium and the three new courtrooms by an underfloor displacement system taking advantage of underfloor plenum that was required for IT, Power and AV wiring. Both strategies created a more energy efficient solution and allowed for a smaller and more cost-effective mechanical plant.
- 2018 The American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Justice, Justice Facilities Review
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