St. Thomas Courthouse

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Visitors are greeted with a high 18’ ceiling lobby, maximizing the available headroom of the existing industrial building. The sparing use of natural maple for the 3 courtrooms entrances cost-effectively adds a human touch to the otherwise solemn and serious space.

This 36700sf courthouse includes 1 jury courtroom, 2 non–jury courtrooms, jury room, interview rooms, courtroom waiting area, 3 judges chambers with washrooms, boardroom and library, Judges’ secretarial staff office, law association library and lounge, robing and washrooms, legal aid applications rooms, office social agencies, VWAP waiting room, CCTV interview room, VWAP offices, crown attorney office, male and female prison holding cells, Police area, a sallyport and furniture storage area. Works also include site works improvements and new external ramp for sallport and all security system.

It is built inside an existing warehouse facility with a meagre budget of $4.5M within an extremely condensed schedule of 3 months. Most of the system and loose furniture and special stainless steel doors of the prison holding cells area are salvaged from other decommissioned courthouse facilities for this project. Structural framing independent of the existing building structure was specially erected to support the acoustic ceilings of the courtrooms to meet the exacting acoustics performance. Contract Price: $4.5M, completed January 2011.


  • Firm: NGA Architects Partnership of Incorporations (Heman Shih Architect Inc. and Robin Ng Architect Inc.)
  • Project Lead Architect: Heman shih, Architect OAA