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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Science Center
  4. Canada
  5. Gow Hastings Architects
  6. 2012
  7. Humber Centre for Justice Leadership / Gow Hastings Architects

Humber Centre for Justice Leadership / Gow Hastings Architects

  • 01:00 - 23 July, 2013
Humber Centre for Justice Leadership / Gow Hastings Architects
Humber Centre for Justice Leadership / Gow Hastings Architects, ©  Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

©  Tom Arban ©  Tom Arban ©  Tom Arban ©  Tom Arban + 13

  • Architects

  • Location

    Toronto, Ontario
  • Design Team

    Philip Hastings, Valerie Gow, Jim Burkitt, David Colussi, Dan Malka, Rich D’Alessandro, Janice Lee, Julian Ocampo
  • Landscape Consultant

    NAK Design Group
  • Structural Consultant

    Cathro Engineering Limited
  • Mechanical & Electrical Consultant

    McGregor Allsop Limited
  • Project Year

©  Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

Text description provided by the architects. Dedicated to the teaching of forensic science, Humber College’s Centre for Justice Leadership enables students to learn the art of fi ngerprint dusting and other investigation techniques including shoe and tire impressions in a state-of-the-art forensics lab. The new lab will allow students to learn identifi cation techniques using polygraph technology, criminal profi ling, and photography. In this fi rst-of-its-kind facility, students can study crime scenes and hone their investigative skills in the facility’s unique tiered 45-seat theatre with a simulated one-bedroom apartment for reenactment of crime scenes.

©  Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

Breathing new life into a former car dealership, the school is a prime example of the college’s strategy of annexing neighbouring buildings to expand its lakeshore campus. The transformed structure offers versatile spaces perfectly conducive to programs, such as the Blood Spatter Interpretation course and the three-year Police Foundation program. What was once the dealership’s service area is now a crime scene investigation lab and the former showroom has been converted into classrooms, used for regular classes as well as mock trials. The various ceiling heights inside the facility pinch and expand the space to great effect, further disguising the dealership, while creating the impression of spaciousness and also concealing the sources for atmospheric lighting.

©  Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

The original facade of the dealership is now shrouded behind a translucent aluminum screen, providing dynamic shapes to the building’s exterior. A green living wall cascades down the facade and is visible through large fi ssures in the screen. Inspired by the nature of the centre’s activities, the new facade gives the building a simultaneously alluring and discrete appearance. Aside from its aesthetic appeal, the aluminum screen also serves to soften the bright light that previously permeated the structure through the large showroom windows. The vertical garden provides a lush, natural contrast to the sharp sculptural shape of the screen and to the street’s harsh paving. After dark, the large LED sign projecting Humber’s wordmark radiates an ambient glow from behind the screen – providing both drama and safety to the surrounding area.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Humber Centre for Justice Leadership / Gow Hastings Architects" 23 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884