schmidt hammer lassen architects: international criminal court breaks ground
original content
apr 17, 2013
schmidt hammer lassen architects: international criminal court breaks ground


‘international criminal court (ICC)’ by schmidt hammer lassen architects, the hague, netherlands
all images courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects

 

 

the schmidt hammer lassen-designed home of the international criminal court (ICC) broke ground, marking the start the global tribunal’s
permanent presence in the hague.  the ICC is the first treaty-based, international criminal court established to prosecute genocide, crimes
against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. founded in 2002, the court’s official seat remained in the netherlands, but proceedings
took place in a number of locations. the design posits an architecture-as-ambassador, physically materializing the tribunal’s values of hope,
trust and faith in justice with a rolling dune landscape and a sensitively-scaled cluster of buildings. the 54,000 square meter complex is a definitive,
authoritative mark on the landscape, while taking care to relate to the human scale with a composition of 6 transparent and accessible volumes.
the tallest of these forms in the ‘court tower’ which employs a rising garden as cladding.   the rest of the office’s facades are composed of a composite
material that delineates gridded and angled cutouts in their envelopes. the court’s proximity to the north sea allowed the architects to prioritize open
spaces, sky and horizon into the design. while the site was given to the institution free of charge, the 122 states parties that have ratified the roman
statute have funded the project. the building itself will be ideally located by the ICC detention center and will be part of the international zone of the
hague, which contains the peace palace, europol, ICTY, OPCW and the hague world forum. 

 

 

 

the architectonic expression of the tribunal’s values of fairness and justice is further explained

video © international criminal court

 

 

 

perspective from the building from van alkemadelaan

 

 

the court tower will contain vertical, parterre gardens

 

 

overall view of the six gridded volumes 

 

 

view of one of the conference areas

 

 

entrance views show an airy, light-filled space

 

 

courtroom view continue the authoritative, yet human-scaled, aesthetic

 

 

a dune-like landscape plan accompanies the structure

 

 

 

 project info:

 

 

client: the international criminal court
area: 54,500 m2 gfa with up to 1,200 work stations
competition: 2008 – 2010, won in restricted international competition
status: construction 2013 – 2015
engineer: royal haskoning, esbensen consulting engineers (in competition stage)
interior design and art: bosch & fjord in collaboration with schmidt hammer lassen architects (in competition stage)
landscape architect: sla
project management: brink groep
contractor: courtys

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