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Monday, November 24, 2008

International Criminal Court, ICC, The Hague, Netherlands

International Criminal Court will now consult with architects to develop final design
19 designs for the International Criminal Court in The Hague went on display yesterday in the Atrium of The Hague City Hall following the announcement of the winning firms. Ingenhoven Architects of Düsseldorf, Germany; Schmidt Hammer Lassen / Bosch & Fjord of Århus, Denmark and Wiel Arets Architects & Associates of Maastricht, The Netherlands were selected by an international jury chaired by Chief Government Architect of The Netherlands, Liesbeth van der Po for first, second and third prize respectively. Over the next three months the architects will consult with the International Criminal Court to develop their designs with each standing equal chance of winning the commission in early 2009.

Ingenhoven’s design was commended in the jury’s report for its approach to the criteria: “The ICC's values such as transparency, communication and efficiency are reflected in the view of the Jury, who states it as a 'happy building', which creates a new democratic image of a court and a deep philosophy to justice.”

Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Bosch & Fjord's design is made from rows of various-sized square towers united by a rectangular base and will be integrated into the dunes of dry and wet grasslands that surround the site. Creative Director and partner of SHL architects, Bjarne Hammer said: “We are delighted that the ICC jury has selected our design for this extremely prestigious shortlist. The practice has tried to create a building which reflects the ICC’s core values of compassion and impartiality, whilst also creating a striking structure that complements the surrounding landscape.”

Wiel Arets design is the boldest with the authors of the design comparing their project with 'precious gemstones set into jewellery'. The jury said: “The significant approach leads to a unique project, which corresponds with an interesting landscape concept; the hedge gardens can be integrated into the external security concept. At first sight the gesture seem rather introvert, but the openings in the facades soften this impression.”

The final design will be presented in 2010, after which construction is due to start in 2011. Work on the new building for the International Criminal Court is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Niki May Young
News Editor
architecture NOW

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