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JAN - JUN 2021





AMAURY GREIG  |  Renzo Piano Building Workshop 


ELSA LAM  |  Editor, Canadian Architect

JULIUS LANG  |  Community Justice Expert, former Sr. Advisor at Center for Court Innovation

JACOB M. KUMMER  |  NORR, CAAJ Communications, Digital Design & Competition Co-chair

JULIAN JAFFARY  |  Justice Architecture Specialist, CAAJ Treasurer, AIA Liaison & Competition Co-chair





Society’s standard institutions and approaches to justice are being challenged in the context of social unrest, systematic racism and discrimination, and violent protests. The present court system, with long waits for trials, high rates of recidivism, harsh sentences for minor infractions, failure to rehabilitate offenders, and the overrepresentation of certain racial groups is one of these institutions being challenged.

New models are evolving that rethink how the criminal justice system operates. These models require a commensurate evolution in building typology that serves and symbolizes these changes while positively enhancing the connection between justice and community. One example of this new typology is the Community Justice Centre.

Community Justice Centres (CJCs) move justice away from the rigid hierarchy of the traditional courthouse into a more informal community setting. They bring together justice, health and social services for vulnerable accused people and their communities in order to provide a holistic, fair and integrated approach to the judicial process. CJCs improve outcomes by applying restorative approaches to justice that focus on addressing the root causes of the crime, repairing the harm caused to victims and the community, helping to breaking the cycle of offending and improving community safety.


The Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice (CAAJ) invites architecture students to speculate on these issues in a design competition for a new Community Justice Centre. Submissions are welcomed from either studio groups or individuals. The design will be evaluated by a jury of justice experts, architects and industry professionals. Participants are highly encouraged to explore a wide spectrum of architectural responses from functional and practical at one end to philosophical and social at the other – including ways in which this building could be integrated into the community and act as a catalyst for building a positive relationship between the justice centre and the community it serves.


For more information, please download the full competition brief at the link below:

"Family Talk," a peacemaking process in Sierra Leone. Photo courtesy of Sara Terry




Participants are required to register for the competition.

Click the link below to access the registration form.




Participants are required to upload their submissions by 23:59 EASTERN TIME - JUNE 15, 2021

Click the link below to access the registration form.


This is an international competition. We welcome students worldwide to enter

Participants must be currently enrolled in a school of architecture. Winners will be expected to provide proof either consisting of a recent transcript or letter from the school explaining your status.


  • Students who are taking time off from their studies to seek work experience but remain in the process of becoming an architect are also eligible to apply. 

  • Students in their final year who might have completed their studies after January 2021 but before the submission date are still eligible. 




1ST PRIZE: $3,000 CDN

2ND & 3RD PRIZES: $1,000 CDN

  • Winning entries will be featured on the CAAJ website

  • Winning individual / team members will be provided with electronic certificates

  • Prize awards are generously provided by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Foundation and will be issued to winners via electronic bank transfer



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Julian Jaffary

Justice Architecture Specialist

CAAJ Treasurer, AIA Liaison

& Competition Co-chair


Julius Lang

Community Courts Expert

Former Sr. Advisor at the Center for Court Innovation


Jacob Matthias Kummer

Architect & Designer, Justice, NORR 

CAAJ Communications, Digital Design

& Competition Co-chair


Amaury Greig

Associate, Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW)


David Clusiau

Vice President, Design,  NORR

CAAJ Chair


Elsa Lam

Editor, Canadian Architect magazine





Participants are required to upload their submissions by 23:59 EASTERN TIME - JUNE 15, 2021

Should you encounter any technical difficulties during the submission process, please contact us at

The Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice reserves the right to publish entries on the CAAJ website, or to distribute to other architecture or justice-related publication media (websites, magazines or exhibitions). Credit for authorship will remain with the individual (or named individuals in the case of a team submission). By submitting material individual competitors and teams acknowledge this right.

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