Gow Hastings Architecture


Humber College's new Centre for Justice Leadership
Humber College's Centre for Justice Leadership by Gow Hastings Architecture.
"Both the client and the contractor on this project were impressed with the transparency and record keeping abilities of rform." — Philip Hastings, OAA, MRAIC, LEED AP, Gow Hastings Architects Inc.

Dedicated to the teaching of forensic science, Humber College's new Centre for Justice Leadership enables students to learn the art of fingerprint dusting and other investigation techniques including laser and video recording in a state-of-the-art forensics lab. Students will also study crime scenes and hone their investigative skills in the facility's tiered 45-seat theatre with a simulated one-bedroom apartment for the reenactment of crime scenes.

Part of the college's strategy to annex neighbouring buildings in order to expand its lakeshore campus, the 18,000 s.f. facility, will give new life to a former car dealership. The service area will be transformed into the crime scene investigations lab and the former showroom is being converted into classrooms.

The conventional façade of the dealership will be shrouded behind an aluminum screen with oblique proportions and a lush green living wall – swaths of which will be visible through large fissures in the screen. Inspired by the nature of the centre's activities, the new façade will give the building a simultaneously alluring and discrete appearance. The screen was also conceived to reduce the light levels that previously permeated the interior from the large showroom windows. The vertical garden will provide a soft, natural contrast to the sculptural shape of the screen and the campus' hard paving. At night the building will radiate an ambient glow from an LED sign that will project Humber's oversized word mark from behind the screen – adding both drama and safety to the surrounding area.