Calgary Landmarks: Calgary Courts Centre (CCC)
If you’ve ever been downtown to dispute a traffic or bylaw ticket, chances are you’ve been inside the Calgary Courts Centre.
This is one Calgary Landmark you don’t want to visit if you don’t have to for any reason whatsoever, that’s a given. Nonetheless, its towering figure in the heart of downtown makes it stand out on a skyline crowded with many different skyscrapers of all shapes and sizes.
This is something that was well done by the architects and designers.
Calgary Courts Centre tall and stocky figure gives it an appearance that could very well make it the biggest and baddest courthouse in Canada. As a matter of fact, it IS the biggest court facility in the nation with 1 million square feet of court and office space.
Its imposing figure coincides with what you will find inside its doors: courtrooms, jail cells, judicial chambers, legal evidence and an entrance way with airport-style security surrounded by armed courthouse Sheriffs.
Here are some interesting facts on the Calgary Courts Centre, one of Calgary’s most imposing landmarks in the downtown commercial core.
Quick Facts: Calgary Courts Centre
- Owned & paid for by the Government of Alberta
- Completed in 2007
- Two towers, 20 and 24 floors linked by a 26-floor atrium
- Height – 129 metres (423 feet)
- Design by Kasian Architecture & Carlos Ott
- Cost – $300 million
- LEED Silver Certification
- More than 1 million square feet of space
- 73 courtrooms, judicial chambers
- 700 stall underground parkade
Construction of the downtown landmark began in August of 2004 with completion of the first $300 million phase almost exactly 3 years later in August of 2007. It was estimated that an additional $15 to $20 million was provided by the Government of Alberta for furnishings.
The second phase, priced at $50 million, commenced in the Fall of 2007 and consisted of the demolition of the old Court of Queen’s Bench facility, a new 700-stall underground parkade and a new urban park called Courthouse Park directly to the east of the first phase.
Included in the design are many modern-day IT technologies such as digital recording, wireless microphones, LCD screens and amplified speakers to name a few. Its facilities are upkept with state-of-the-art security, communication and computer systems of the modern day.
The Calgary Courts Centre has been equipped with many post-911 security features, including:
- Reinforced concrete towers
- Large steel barriers on ground floor inside glass atrium
- Bullet-proof judges’ benches, jury boxes and witness stands
As a matter of fact, the CCC towers contain more structural steel than both Bankers Hall towers combined which render the building nearly airplane-proof!
*Photo above courtesy of CANA, construction company that built the courthouse.
Impressive Interior Architecture
While there isn’t much to do at the Calgary Courts Centre other than to pay fines, there is one feature of the building that’s worth a glance – the “elevator shaft”.
Inside there’s a gigantic open space where the elevators run on the outer walls and all the technical and infrastructure elements of the elevators / buildings systems are exposed. It’s quite the view and will spark the interest of anyone who appreciates unique architecture.
The Calgary Courts Centre was the first high rise courthouse in North America and stands as one of the largest not only in North America, but the entire world! Check it out!
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