International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court

Architectus was selected to participate in a select architectural competition for the design of the International Criminal Court's (ICC) new permanent premises. 

In our view, the dispensation of international criminal justice should be visible to all the peoples of the world as a secure, permanent and reliable institution which exists within a global environment whose political and social frameworks have always been, and will always be, shifting, unreliable, and unpredictable.

We have designed the new facility so that the courts are positioned as solid grounded elements within the broader landscape of the shifting sands of the Dutch coastline, metaphorically reflecting the role of the Court within the human and political landscape of our times.

The court rooms are fashioned as solid elements, thick walled and protected on three sides, but open to the landscape and the world on a third secure side. They rise solidly and firmly from the sands of the dunes, and penetrate the total height of the building gaining access to the sky.

The various functions immediately associated with the court rooms have been arranged to create thick protective walls to the space of the courts. The courts themselves are more courtyard or civic square than internal room, for the people of the world to witness justice brought to those guilty of crimes against humanity.

Around the elements of the building we have constructed a protecting environmental hedge (the Hague) which mediates between the internal and external environment, modulating light, air, and security as required around the total building envelope.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

The Assembly of State Parties (ASP) represented by the International Criminal Court - ICC
The Hague, The Netherlands
Floor area
64 000 m²
Original value
Patrick Clifford