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International Criminal Court breaks ground on new building complex in Netherlands

18 Apr 2013 (Last Updated April 18th, 2013 18:30)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has broken ground on the new 54,500m² building complex in Hague, the Netherlands, designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects.

ICC building

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has broken ground on the new 54,500m² building complex in The Hague, the Netherlands, designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects.

The new building will be built between the natural dune landscape on the edge of The Hague, on the site where the Alexanderkazerne (Alexander Barracks) were located on the van Alkemadelaan/Oude Waalsdorperweg.

Located close to the North Sea, the site is part of the International Zone of The Hague which also features the Peace Palace, Europol, ICTY, OPCW and The Hague World Forum.

Upon completion, the building will serve as the ICC’s first permanent premises for the institute.

schmidt hammer lassen architects founding partner and creative director Bjarne Hammer said the building must communicate respect, trust and hope to the victims, to their families and to the world.

"Therefore, this building cannot be anonymous; it must have the courage to express the values and the credibility of the ICC," Hammer said.

The Denmark-based architect said the building is designed as a ‘sculptural abstraction, a composition of six volumes, anchored to the site and rising from the surrounding dune landscape’.

After completion, the tallest of the volumes in the structure will be the Court Tower, which rises up as a green element.

Features of the project include the use of the cultivated parterre gardens from ground floor level as a cladding on the Court Tower.

The office facade grid, which is intended to resemble embroidery, is designed with angle and cut-outs, which will allow the light to reflect in different ways.

schmidt hammer lassen architects won the competition to design the building in March 2010 and worked with the ICC and the Municipality of The Hague to develop the project.

Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren (Courtys) are serving as the general contractor for the building, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015.


Image: After completion, the ICC’s new building complex will serve as its first permanent premises. Photo: Courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects.