Design revealed for new International Criminal Court HQ

By Becca Durrant09 March 2010

The new 46000 m² ICC premises in The Hague is expected to cost € 190 million to construct. 
Photo co

The new 46000 m² ICC premises in The Hague is expected to cost € 190 million to construct. Photo co

The design for the new International Criminal Court (ICC) headquarters in The Hague has been revealed by Scandinavian architect, schmidt hammer lassen (SHL).

The architect's Danish office has been selected from a twenty-strong international shortlist to design the new 46000 m² ICC premises in the Netherlands, which will cost € 190 million to construct.

According to SHL the main concept is a sculptural arrangement of buildings in the landscape and the design of a landmark that conveys the "eminence and authority of the ICC while at the same time relating to a human scale."

Located close to the North Sea the site is placed between nature and the city and according to the architect connecting the dune landscape with the edge of the city has a striking potential.

"By designing a compact building with a small footprint, the landscape is returned to the city so that the open spaces, the sky and the horizon become an integrated part of the architectural composition," the company said in statement.

It added the values of 'openness' and 'transparency' are communicated through the lightness and simplicity in the building's architectural design.

The new ICC premises is designed as a composition of six 'volumes', the tallest of which is the Court Tower which is clad from the ground floor level and upwards in cultivated gardens. With flowers and plants from each of the 110 member countries, the formal garden rises up as a symbol of unity, regardless of nationality and culture, schmidt hammer lassen said.

The company added remaining volumes - the office towers, are draped in a tapestry grid, almost like embroidery and the office façade grid is designed with angle and cut-outs, which allows the light to reflect differently.

In the statement Bjarne Hammer, co-founding partner and creative director of schmidt hammer lassen said, "The building is designed as an abstract and informal sculpture in the landscape. This way, it becomes a backdrop for the ICC to communicate trust, hope, and most importantly, faith in justice and fairness."

Construction is due to start in 2012 with completion expected in 2015.

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