WZMH Architects: Dynamic. Innovative. Diverse.

Durham Region Courthouse

Oshawa, Ontario
Access Justice Durham
Infrastructure Ontario
Ministry of Attorney General
January 2009
Associate Architect:
Cannon Design

Urban Design Award for City of Oshawa, 2012

Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships – Silver Award, 2012

CUI Brownie Awards – Category 3 – Financing, Risk Management and Partnerships, 2012

RAIC CaGBC Green Building Award of Excellence, 2011

Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships – Project Financing – Award of Merit

ARIDO Award of Merit, 2010

AIA Certificate of Merit – San Francisco, 2008

With its carefully scaled building forms and richly patterned cladding of coloured and clear glass, the Durham Region Courthouse makes a significant contribution to the civic architecture of the emerging urban framework of downtown Oshawa. Its bold, modern vocabulary emphasizes transparency and openness, both for users and passersby. A large outdoor public space, Courthouse Square, acts as the forecourt to the building entrance and creates space for civic activities. Providing much needed space for the province’s judicial system, this six-storey structure houses 33 courtrooms, associated support space and facilities for holding prisoners. For planning efficiency, high-volume functions are located at or near grade.

The design includes innovations in energy performance that will result in energy savings of 42% in comparison with comparably scaled buildings completed within the last ten years. The Durham Region Courthouse is the first government building in Ontario to achieve LEED Gold certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

A compact plan with a low ratio of exterior wall to enclosed floor area minimizes the area of the exterior envelope, reducing energy consumption. A pattern of spandrel glass panels reduces the amount of vision glass, contributing to an overall building energy consumption that is 42% less than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings.

The courthouse received the 2011 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Building Award of Excellence Green-Building Award and the 2008 American Institute of Architects Certificate of Merit.