Building - ICC Premises 

As a permanent judicial institution, the ICC requires functional permanent premises to enable the Court to discharge its duties effectively and to reflect the significance of the Court in the fight against impunity. The Court is situated between the natural rolling dunes landscape and the edge of The Hague on the site where the Alexanderkazerne (Alexander Barracks) were located on the van Alkemadelaan/Oude Waalsdorperweg.

The host state (The Netherlands) made the site available free of charge. The project is funded by the 122 States Parties that have ratified the Rome Statute, through a mixture of one-time payments or via the utilisation of a loan offered by the host state. In addition, the host state organised and financed the architectural design competition, which started at the end of 2008.

Architectural Design Competition
A worldwide architectural competition was launched in February 2008 to find a design for the permanent premises. 170 candidates from 32 countries took part. A Jury made up of representatives of the ASP, the Court, the municipality of The Hague and architectural experts was convened to judge the entries. By ASP resolution, the Coalition participated as an observer on the Jury, issuing a statement “CICC Statement to Premises Architectural Competition Jury” on the importance of the process. Three prizewinners were selected by the Jury in October 2008 and at the Eighth Assembly of States Parties in November 2009, a decision was taken requesting the Project Board to finalize the negotiations, including on the terms and conditions of the contract, with Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects (Denmark).

The main concept of the design is the sculptural arrangement of buildings in the landscape and of a landmark that conveys the eminence and authority of the ICC, while at the same time relating on a human scale. The winning design complies with a complex brief and captures the spirit of the ICC seven values. As described by the architects, the seven operation keywords for these values areJustice, Human Dignity, Openness, Credibility, Safety, Global and Icon and they relate to the essence of the ICC as an instituition. The overall building form can be seen as an undulating composition of volumes on the horizon, reminiscent of the dune landscape. “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,” says Bjarne Hammer, Founding Partner and Chief Architect of the firm.

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