New Amsterdam Courthouse, Amsterdam, Netherlands


New Amsterdam Courthouse is a proposed courthouse facility, designed by KAAN Architecten, to replace the existing judicial complex at the Zuidas and Parnassusweg crossing in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Touted to be the country's biggest court in terms of number of processed cases and daily visitors, the complex is expected to be completed in September 2020. The old courthouse is expected to be demolished in August 2017, clearing the way for the new construction.

A design competition was held by the Central Government Real Estate Agency (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf), which selected KAAN Architecten as the winner. The winning architect is part of a consortium and has been awarded a design, build, finance, maintain and operate (DBFMO) contract worth €235m ($265.68m).

The project will be implemented through a public private partnership (PPP), with the consortium being responsible for the management and maintenance of the courthouse under a 30-year contract.

New Amsterdam Courthouse design details

Designed to be open and engaging, the new courthouse will offer sweeping views of the city.

Different aspects of the building have been conceived to promote efficiency and blend in with its surroundings. Large windows and a huge entrance courtyard have been included at the building's ground level to make it more accessible to the public.

The intricate layout of the courthouse merges the city's streets with the building's design. As an extension of the surrounding city architecture, the building's forecourt, central hall, foyers and waiting areas have been designed to enhance public access.

The complex has been designed to allow an easy transition from the street to the entrance of the courthouse, as well as create a meeting place for visitors, reports and journalists.

Facilities at the courthouse

The structure has been designed to accommodate 1,000 staff, including 200 judges and 800 employees, as well as a large flow of daily visitors.

The judicial complex will have a public square, foyer, 70 courtrooms, offices, a lobby, a restaurant, a conference centre, and an annexed library area. Two independent buildings close to the central hall will house the courtrooms and council chambers. A large courtroom will also be located on the ground floor with dedicated access.

The courtrooms, interrogation areas and associated facilities will be spread across 5,300m², whereas the total court area will be approximately 47,250m². A temporary parking facility will also be available with 180 slots.

Landscaping

"The building's forecourt, central hall, foyers and waiting areas have been designed to enhance public access."

The complex will have multiple green areas, including a large terrace and enclosed, vertical and sunken gardens.

The enclosed garden is surrounded by the central hall and a glass wall, while the vertical gardens rise along the building's height. The lower floor receives sunlight by means of a sunken garden present in the building's western part. An extensive terrace garden is also incorporated in the building's landscape.

Key players involved

The selected consortium is named NACH and comprises Macquarie Capital, Heijmans, Facilicom, ABT, DVP, KAAN Architecten, BiUM and Bouwbedrijf M.J. de Nijs & Zonen.

Macquarie Capital Europe Limited has been appointed as the financial advisor for the project. ABT will act as an advisor on issues related to construction, technical installations, fire control and acoustics. Heijmans in collaboration with Facilicom will design, construct and operate the court house.