International Criminal Court Ground-Breaking / schmidt hammer lassen architects

Courtesy of

Upon winning the competition in 2010, schmidt hammer lassen architects just celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony for the International Criminal Court (ICC) this past Tuesday in The Hague, . Aiming to convey hope, trust and faith in justice, the 54,500 square meter building complex will be the first permanent premises of the unique, international institution. The permanent premises of the International Criminal Court will be finished in the summer of 2015. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects

The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. It was founded in 2002 and has grown to the present-day size of 122 member countries.

Courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects

Located close to the North Sea, the new Court building is set in the rolling dune landscape on the edge of The Hague. The main concept is a sculptural arrangement of buildings in the landscape. It appears as a landmark that expresses the eminence and authority of the ICC, while at the same time relating to a human scale.

Courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects

schmidt hammer lassen architects won the prestigious architectural competition to design the permanent premises of the ICC in March 2010. Since then, the project has been developed in close collaboration with the client and the Municipality of The Hague. During the process, several user-group consultations have been conducted.

Courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects

Key to the decisions made in the process has been to transform the values of the ICC – transparency and accessibility – to be an integrated part of the building design. Special attention has been paid to the development of a new custom-made facade system designed of a composite material known in the aviation and wind turbine industry.

Architects: schmidt hammer lassen architects
Location: The Netherlands
Engineer: Royal Haskoning, Esbensen Consulting Engineers (in competition stage)
Interior Design and Art: Bosch & Fjord in collaboration with schmidt hammer lassen architects (in competition stage)
Landscape Architect: SLA
Project Management: Brink Groep
Contractor: Courtys
Client: The International Criminal Court
Area: 54,500 m2 GFA with up to 1,200 work stations
Competition: 2008 – 2010, won in restricted international competition
Status: Construction 2013 – 2015

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "International Criminal Court Ground-Breaking / schmidt hammer lassen architects" 19 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Sep 2014. <>

Share your thoughts