Rijksgebouwendienst  (Dutch Governmental Building Agency)

The Hague, The Netherlands


Established in 2002 to prosecute war crimes, genocide, and similar atrocities, the International Criminal Court (ICC) quickly outgrew its temporary home within a larger office building in The Hague. It needed more court rooms as well as support spaces. After a feasibility study, the ICC decided to repurpose a parking deck at the building’s north side.

Converting a park deck presented a significant design challenge: how to make low-ceilinged, claustrophobic spaces feel welcoming and protective, as well as give them the respectful look of an international organization. An additional challenge was carving out two well-proportioned courts within poorly proportioned volumes, and to create a smooth circulation system that could accommodate separate routes for judges, clerks, suspects, and members of the public.

The new volume doesn’t stand out because of an outspoken shape, as the existing office building does, but is defined by a subtly varied facade that lends it a strong, elegant appearance. Its cladding is made of two differently shaped aluminum panels that are anodized in two different colors. The new courts occupy space on what had been the parking deck’s top level, while lower floors include public areas such as the lobby, a library, and press briefing room. In order to avoid reducing the height of these seven-foot-high spaces any more than was necessary, the architect placed all HVAC and electrical conduits inside the walls.



Rijksgebouwendienst  (Dutch Governmental Building Agency)
PO Box 20592
NL 2500 EZ The Hague
31-(0)-70-3398998 tel.
31-(0)-70-3394909 fax

Project architect: Gemma Koppen

Project manager: Roel vd Mark

Project leader: Arie de Jong

Interior designer

VMV Architects


Construction, security, building physics, and feasibility studies: Dutch Governmental Building Agency

Project team: Fred Verschoor, Edwin Verhagen, Jaap de Jonge, Peter van Hulten


Landscape: Ir. MSc. G. Koppen

Lighting: Galjema B.V. Technisch Adviesbureau

Acoustical: Governmental Building Agency

Installations: Galjema B.V. Technisch Adviesbureau

General contractor

Hillen & Roosen


Rob ‘t Hart Photography
Rodenrijselaan 33a
NL, 3037 XC Rotterdam



Exterior Cladding

Metal/glass curtainwall: Aluminum panels designed by the Dutch Governmental Building Agency and fabricated by Oskomera Gevelbouw B.V.


Insulated-panel or plastic glazing: U-profiles Linit P26-60-7 by Van den Heuvelglas

Interior finishes

Acoustical ceilings: Mavotrans, Texaa-Vibrasto; OWAcoustic, Cosmos 68/N; Wilhelmi, Micropor S; BPB Design Plafonds, Ri-acoustic; Gyptone Quattro; Asona, Sonacoustic

Paints and stains: Sikkens (Marpal and Wapex); Bolidt (floors)

Special surfacing: Birch panels developed by VMV architects, at courts

Resilient flooring: Rubber floor tiles by Leoxx B.V.

Carpet: Armstrong Libra lines

Raised flooring: Soluflex cable floor system (Van Geel)


Office furniture: Franch Dorso N

Reception furniture: Designed by VMV Architects; Ir. MSc. G. Koppen

Chairs: Catifa, Arper; Lamhults; Kartell; Utrecht chair at lobby designed by Gerrit Rietveld

Tables: Designed by VMV Architects, fabricated by Meubelmakerij Baxmeier


Interior ambient lighting: Light objects designed by VMV architects, light line designed by Ir. MSc. G. Koppen; Targetti, Victoria recessed flush; Microline 30 P1154 ANO; Delta Lightz

Task lighting: Tolomeo, Artemide

Exterior: Fiberlight Line