Friday, August 7, 2009

International Criminal Court by Ingenhoven Architects

Ingenhoven Architects

The architects ability to transform the criminal court into a 'happy building', which creates a new democratic image of a court and a deep philosophy to justice. The multiple visual connections create an open, transparent campus-like appearance.
International Criminal Court (ICC), The Hague
Design Team: Ingenhoven Architects
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
When to visit: Completion 2014

The dunes in The Hague are a unique site for a prestigious international institution like the ICC. In the design this wonderful setting is literally pulled further towards the city: the new court building hovers above the extended natural dune-scape in a light and un-obstructive manner. The dunes float underneath freely and straight into the building in the shape of multiple gardens.

The layout of the floor plans is clear, allowing easy orientation and navigation. The three main areas of the prosecutors, the judges and the registrars are clearly separated from each other, still the building acts as an open house architecturally. While neither standing in the tradition of a temple like court building, let alone a fabulous palace of justice it transform and differentiates the modernist box by re-uniting the realm of the people with unspoiled nature in the form of gardens.

Ingenhoven Architects
Ingenhoven Architects

Views into nature, views into one of the several omnipresent gardens orientate both every-day users as well as visitors in the building as they are visually exposed to natural conditions such as weather or natural daylight at any time. The buildings architecture is light, careful, elegant and at the same time transparent. It is detached from any specific cultural context. The design is not an overly defensive 'security-architecture' but an expression of fairness and a court of law as a place of court hearings.

While nevertheless respecting the legitimate needs for privacy it promotes openness towards the public and the media, to make verdicts comprehensible. The building should help the public understand how it functions and not try to hide anything from the public eye.

International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court

via Ingenhoven Architects