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Nunavut Justice Centre

The primary directive for the Nunavut Justice Centre was to incorporate Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) or “Traditional Knowledge”. IQ refers to the Inuit way of viewing the world. It involves social harmony, mutual sharing and honesty.

The goal of the facility was to preserve and promote the elements that frame the Inuit identity; an identity that has no history of permanently built structures. An extensive consultative process over a three month period was undertaken through consultations with community groups, artists, elders, legal counselors, law enforcement officials and judiciary. A public survey was distributed across Nunavut in order to obtain feedback on the incorporation of IQ principles into the design.

The gentle curves of the plan reflect the flowing lines of Inuit art. Spaces requiring views and natural light enjoy a southerly exposure while utility and circulation spaces are oriented to the north with little glass. The courtroom interiors are subtle in tone alluding to cultural influences of Inuit landscape and culture. The detailed wood wall behind the judge’s dias incorporates local black granite and its clean lines are a metaphor for the pristine arctic landscape. The bar separating the public gallery was crafted in the tradition of a Qamutik (Inuit sled) on its side.

Location: Iqaluit, NU
Client: Government of Nunavut
Number TEN's Role: Design Architect
Size: 22,184 sq. ft.
Completion: 2006