Piano’s influence on North America’s architecture has recently expanded once again. On February 22, 2018, it was revealed that Piano would design the new courthouse in downtown Toronto. The project, commissioned by Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of the Attorney General, is expected to be completed in 2022, making it Piano’s first project in Canada.
Piano’s devotion to sustainability will continue with the design of the new courthouse. The building will be designed to meet the LEED Silver Standard with a focus on energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gases.1 Along with a focus on ecology, Piano’s design puts emphasis on creating an open space on the ground level. Similar to his other North American projects that created transparency and openness, such as The New York Times building, the courthouse will be elevated on top of columns that will expose a 20-metre ground-level atrium. The atrium will serve as a year-round public gathering place that will spill onto the street corners.
The courthouse is designed to embody and display the history of the neighbourhood and the milestones passed in the Canadian judicial system. The first four floors of the building will be devoted to public learning: artifacts that are deemed to be culturally significant will be showcased, thereby offering an educational opportunity to all. Upon completion, the new courthouse will successfully combine several law courts into one single facility: this will increase efficiency, but more importantly it will allow for equal access to services.