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ICC has signed contract with Danish architect schmidt hammer lassen for the development of permanent premises


The International Criminal Court (ICC) has revealed the design for its permanent premises after signing the contract for the development of the new building with Danish architects schmidt hammer lassen. The new ICC headquarters in The Hague is expected to be completed by 2015.

Last year three winning architects were chosen by an international jury from a total of 171 applications. The design of schmidt hammer lassen met all the ICC criteria, such as design, sustainability, functionality and costs.

According to the jury report, the sculptural composition of square buildings will make a very impressive and interesting architectural gesture and a great contribution to the city with an attractive integration into the landscape. “The selected design shows a safe place that captures the ICC’s core values of justice, independence, universality, diversity and transparency. A building incorporating these values and at the same time melting into the natural environment transmits the feeling of harmony and peace.” said ICC Registrar, Silvana Arbia during a press conference. The Registrar signed the contract on behalf of the Court. The ICC will continue occupying the interim premises until the new headquarters is finished.

Located close the North Sea, the new Court will be situated between the natural rolling dunes landscape and the edge of The Hague. The main design concept centres on the sculptural arrangement of buildings in the landscape and a landmark that will convey the eminence and authority of the ICC while at the same time relating to human scale. The overall building form can be seen as an undulating composition of volumes on the horizon, reminiscent of the dune landscape.

The new premises consist of a courtroom tower and five office buildings, with a public area on the ground floor with gardens and a mirror pool. The architect has put much effort in the sustainability and urban integration of the new premises. ”It was evident that connecting the dune landscape with the edge of the city had a striking potential. By designing a compact building with a small footprint, we propose to return the landscape to the city,” said Bjarne Hammer, founding partner and creative director of schmidt hammer lassen architects. He continued, “To the victims, to their families and to the world, the ICC building must communicate respect, trust, hope and most importantly, a faith in justice. This building cannot be anonymous; it must have the courage to express the values and the credibility of the ICC”.

The States Parties to the Rome Statute will jointly fund the project. The Netherlands, as host State, offered the use of this land together with a loan and an architectural competition.

The completion of the design in all its details is expected to be achieved in 2012, after which construction will start. According to the plans the building will be ready in 2015 for the ICC to move into.

About the ICC

The International Criminal Court is the only permanent international court established with the mission to help put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes.

About schmidt hammer lassen architects

shmidt hammer lassen architects is one of Scandinavia’s most recognised, award-winning architectural practices committed to innovative and sustainable design. The practice, which was founded in 1986, has offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, London, Oslo and Shanghai. schmidt hammer lassen architects has designed the prestigious extension to the Royal Library in Copenhagen, Aberdeen University Library in Scotland, United Kingdom, Hörsaalzentrum RWTH in Aachen, Germany and Amazon Court in Prague, in the Czech Republic. For further information on schmidt hammer lassen architects please refer to their website: www.shl.dk

Photos of the architectual design
Video of the design presentation
The Permanent Premises of the ICC fact sheet
ICC at a Glance fact sheet
The Court Today information sheet

For further information, requests for interviews, pictures or video materials please contact:
Ingrid de Caluwé
Tel: +31 (0) 6-51267967
Email: [email protected]