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ICC Permanent Premises officially opened by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands


His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands opening the Rome Statute as a symbolic act to officially open the ICC Permanent Premises. Pictured here: H.E. Mr Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States, ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández and H.M. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. © ICC-CPI

Yesterday, 19 April 2016, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands officially opened the permanent premises of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") during a ceremony hosted by the ICC President, Judge Silvia Fernández, and H.E. Mr Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties (“ASP”), and attended by honoured guests including H.E. Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. As a permanent judicial institution created to fight impunity for perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the ICC now has a permanent home.

In a symbolic act to open the premises, the King of the Netherlands opened the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty. The act triggered a short film highlighting the crimes codified in the Rome Statute and demonstrating how the world is uniting to end such crimes. The Residentie Orkest performed during the ceremony, and a group of children from various regions of the world paid a special tribute to all those building a more just world.

During the ceremony, ASP President Kaba remarked: “It is a historic day but also a day of hope for all victims of mass crimes in the world”. “I am delighted that it is here, in The Hague, crossroads of international justice, that we could mark a milestone in the consolidation of our common efforts to make the Court more effective and credible in performing its noble mission”, he added. 

Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr Ban Ki-moon stated: “The inauguration of the permanent premises of the International Criminal Court is a milestone in global efforts to promote and uphold human rights and the rule of law.” He added, “It is in all our interest to help the Court achieve its objectives.  Its success will be the legacy we leave for future generations.”

ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández spoke of the importance of the new premises for the efficiency of the Court’s daily work and for fulfilling its mandate: “With its innovative solutions, the building supports the judicial mission of the ICC. It helps us hold fair and transparent trials. It helps us protect witnesses and facilitate the participation of victims in our proceedings. In sum, it helps us safeguard the independence of the Court, its credibility, and, ultimately, its legitimacy.” She continued, stating: “International criminal justice is intended to ensure that mass atrocities are addressed and further crimes are prevented. Indeed the credible likelihood of accountability is key to their deterrence. This mandate is relevant everywhere, even in places where international crimes may be unimaginable today. History teaches us that no country, no region is immune to war, conflicts or atrocities.”

Remarks were also delivered by H.E. Mr Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of the city of The Hague, and Mr William Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Over 350 guests attended the event, including representatives of States and other international tribunals and organisations, members of NGOs, representatives of the academia and media.

Background

The ICC finalised its move into its new, permanent premises on 14 December 2015. The Court required a functional purpose-built premises to effectively fulfil its mandate in the fight against impunity for perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The design of the building reflects the transparency of the institution and its innovativeness. It combines striking architecture with stringent security measures, while showcasing best practices in sustainability and respect for nature, within the natural dune landscape between The Hague and the North Sea. The building complex consists of six towers that are connected on the ground and first floors and offer over 1,200 workplaces. The largest tower, the Court Tower, accommodates three courtrooms and the media centre.

Since its opening on 1 July 2002, the ICC was temporarily located in two buildings on the other side of The Hague. In December 2007, the Assembly of States Parties decided that the ICC should be provided with newly built permanent premises. In 2010, following an international competition, the Danish firm schmidt hammer lassen was selected to design the new premises and in October 2012 Courtys, a consortium of the VolkerWessels subsidiaries Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren, was chosen for the realisation. Construction work started on 16 April 2013.

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Official Opening of the ICC Permanent Premises on 19 April 2016

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will officially open the permanent premises of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") during a ceremony hosted by the ICC President, Judge Silvia Fernández, and H.E. Mr Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties. H.E. Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, will also attend the event that will be held on Tuesday, 19 April 2016, from 15:00 to 16:30 (The Hague local time) at the seat of the Court in The Hague (Netherlands).

H.E. Mr Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of the city of The Hague, as well as Mr Bill Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, will speak at the event, which will be attended by over 350 guests, including representatives of States and other international tribunals and organisations, members of NGOs, representatives of the academia and media. Around 10 countries will be represented at the Ministerial level.

The ICC finalised its move into its new, permanent premises on 14 December 2015. The Court required a functional purpose-built premises to effectively fulfil its mandate in the fight against impunity for perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The design of the building reflects the transparency of the institution and its innovativeness. It combines striking architecture with stringent security measures, while showcasing best practices in sustainability and respect for nature, within the natural dune landscape between The Hague and the North Sea. The building complex consists of six towers that are connected on the ground and first floors and offer over 1,200 workplaces. The largest tower, the Court Tower, accommodates three courtrooms and the media centre.

Since its opening on 1 July 2002, the ICC was temporarily located in two buildings on the other side of The Hague. In December 2007, the Assembly of States Parties decided that the ICC should be provided with newly built permanent premises. In 2010, following an international competition, the Danish firm schmidt hammer lassen was selected to design the new premises and in October 2012 Courtys, a consortium of the VolkerWessels subsidiaries Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren, was chosen for the realisation. Construction work started on 16 April 2013.

The ICC has moved to its permanent premises

Today, 14 December 2015, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has finalized its move into its new, permanent premises, located at Oude Waalsdorperweg 10, 2597 AK, The Hague, the Netherlands. The ICC required a functional purpose-built premises to effectively fulfil its mandate in the fight against impunity for perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.


The ICC’s new, permanent premises are located at Oude Waalsdorperweg 10, 2597 AK, The Hague, the Netherlands © Simon Bosch Photography

”As a permanent institution, the ICC now has a permanent home. It offers essential features for the court to work more efficiently, provide protection for witnesses and victims, and ensure fair and transparent proceedings. As such, the new, purpose-built premises will greatly assist us in our mandate of providing justice to victims and helping to establish accountability for – and thus helping to prevent – the most serious international crimes”, said ICC President Judge Silvia Férnandez.

The design of the building reflects the transparency of the institution and its innovativeness. It combines striking architecture with stringent security measures, while showcasing best practices in sustainability and respect for nature, within the natural dune landscape between The Hague and the North Sea. As part of The Hague’s International Zone, it is near Peace Palace, Europol, ICTY, OPCW and other international organisations. The host state, the Netherlands, made the site available free of charge.

The building complex consists of six towers that are connected on the ground and first floors and offer over 1,200 workplaces. The largest tower, the Court Tower, accommodates three courtrooms and the media centre. The public area on the ground floor will welcome visitors to the public galleries of the Courtrooms as well as a visitor centre and café.

Since its opening on 1 July 2002, the ICC was temporarily located in two buildings on the other side of The Hague. In December 2007, the Assembly of States Parties decided that the ICC should be provided with newly built permanent premises. In 2010, following an international competition, the Danish firm schmidt hammer lassen was selected to design the new premises and in October 2012 Courtys, a consortium of the VolkerWessels subsidiaries Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren, was chosen for the realisation. Construction work started on 16 April 2013.

The project has been funded by States Parties, and its total cost, including the move, is around 204 million euros.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int.

You can also follow the Court’s activities on YouTube and Twitter

ICC formally receives new permament premises

On 12 November 2015, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was formally handed-over its permanent premises during ceremony at the Court’s new Premises in The Hague, Netherlands. ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi received a symbolic key from Mr Bart van Eijk, Project manager of Courtys, the consortium in charge of construction works, in the presence of the ICC Judges, the ICC Prosecutor and the ICC Registrar. The Court will move into its new home in December 2015.

“Completion of the new, purpose-built building of the Court is a major milestone for the ICC as a permanent international institution,” said ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi at the ceremony. “I pledge our full commitment to making the most effective use of the new premises in order to achieve justice for victims and to contribute to the prevention of core international crimes.”

As a permanent judicial institution, the ICC required functional permanent premises to enable the Court to fulfil its duties effectively and to reflect the increasing significance of the Court in the fight against impunity. In December 2007 the Assembly of States Parties decided that the ICC should be provided with newly built permanent premises. In 2010 the Danish firm schmidt hammer lassen was selected to design the new premises and in October 2012 Courtys, a consortium of the VolkerWessels subsidiaries Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren, was chosen for their realization. Construction work started on 16 April 2013 and has now been completed.

“After 3 years of working together in a very productive, open and pleasant way, I am honoured to hand over the key of the Permanent Premises to the International Criminal Court” declared Mr Bart van Eijk, Project manager of Courtys. ”We are proud to have helped build a home for the ICC, contributing to the Court’s mission to ending impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes. Courtys wishes all the best to the Court in this endeavour.”

Located close to the North Sea, the Court’s new premises are placed between nature and the city and set in the rolling dune landscape at the edge of The Hague. The building complex consists of six towers that are connected on the ground and first floors and offer over 1,200 workplaces. The tallest building is the 42-meters-high Court Tower accommodating three courtrooms and the Media Centre. The public area on the ground floor will welcome visitors to an exhibition centre, public galleries of the Courtrooms and a cafeteria. The Court will be located closer to the detention centre and will form part of the Hague International Zone, comprising a number of international organisations. 

Moving towards the ICC Permanent Premises: Green elements and sustainability

Green roofs connecting all office wings

What makes a building sustainable is a combination of elements used not only in construction, but also in management and operation. In the new premises of the ICC we recognise several of these elements that are presented in this issue.

We are proud that the future home of the ICC will not only be the place where justice will be served, but that it is built with respect to nature,  both flora and fauna, and  the operational methods of the complex are based on sustainability. 

Starting from the design, where the building complex has a small footprint with the architects proposing to return the landscape to the city, the new ICC premises could be considered an environmentally-friendly building. With no fences or high walls and with the different building offset and a small building footprint, the ecological corridor passing through the building is retained, allowing birds to fly to Natura 2000 protected area that is located just behind it.

The greenery that is present not only on the landscape around the building, but also in the courtyard gardens, is the first, obvious green element. However, it is not only the look that makes the building eco-friendly, but also the choices made regarding materials, energy and space management.

Already from the demolition stage of the Alexander military barracks, back in the period 2011-2012, the Government Buildings Agency followed an environmentally friendly procedure for demolishing the buildings, attempting to recycle some of the existing materials, retain as many trees as possible, produce the least possible nuisance and protect the existing flora and fauna, such as sand lizards and bats.


Removing tiles from Alexander barracks before its demolition 

During construction, the General Contractor, Courtys, followed a similar recycling strategy, dividing all garbage to the relevant refuse containers depending on the type of waste material. Another factor that played an important role is that the new premises are located on the border of the Natura 2000 site and are part of the local water-win area. Therefore, strict local regulations apply for making sure that no water contamination is caused.

Energy management
The new premises will be heated and cooled through an extremely sustainable system, the ATES (Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage) installation. The ICC has agreement contract with energy company Eneco for the realisation, operation and maintenance of an ATES installation for a period of 30 years. Eneco will cool and heat the new premises and for this purpose it built one of the largest heat and cold storage installations in The Netherlands. What is really unique in this project is the fact that the four underground sources for the storage of cold and hot water will be more than a kilometre away from the building, as the new premises of the ICC is built on a protected drinking water zone.

ATES is an extremely sustainable way to heat and cool a building. It will save approximately 430 tonnes of CO₂ per year. That equates to a reduction of 45% compared to a more conventional system of gas boilers for heating and compression chillers for cooling.

Furthermore, the building is constructed in such a way that allows the concrete plates on the ceiling to absorb the heat produced by people and all technical equipment (eg. computers, photocopiers, etc.). Through the pipes on the ceiling, the heat is transferred and stored and can be reused for heating the building. On average, an adult releases 2Kwh per day.

 

Led Lighting
The new premises of the ICC will be illuminated mostly by LED lighting. The decision to invest 1m euros in LED lighting throughout the building will give the ICC long term payback savings in operational energy and maintenance costs after the first 7 years in use.


LED lighting of a typical office corridor

In general, the ICC has explored Best Value for Money options (i.e. elements where a greater investment would realise significant operational savings in the future) for the ICC, so as well as producing optimisations it stimulates enhancements in quality.

Sustainability in everyday life
The sustainable approach is not only applicable during construction (on the building procedure and the materials used), but also on the way the building will be managed and operated when the ICC moves there.

There is a long list of items and measures which are integrated into the building and the landscape, such as water-saving toilets and taps, automatic daylight control of luminaires for all lighting in offices, biological cleaning for the cleaning of the mirror pond and use of green roofs.

Maintenance plan
A building with so many green elements requires a very specific maintenance plan. Such a plan is currently under development and it includes, for example, the maintenance of the plant boxes on the Court Tower and the courtyards. Fertilizer can be added to the automatic irrigation system and plants will be replaced only if necessary. A specific maintenance plan will be followed for the different courtyards, depending on specific needs.

The new premises could also be characterised as eco-friendly from different operational practices, such as the paperless Court, an e-Court with less paper consumption.

Danish Design gains a prominent place at the ICC Permanent Premises

ICC Permanent Premises - Lobby view - Eske Rex's artwork

A floating wooden sculpture will be a central focal point at the entrance to the new headquarters of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Danish artist Eske Rex has created a powerful, iconic work for the building designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects, which will be finished in December 2015.  

When the new official seat for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is opened to the public in January 2016, it will bear a distinctive Danish imprint – namely, an entirely new work by Eske Rex, which demonstrates how Danish design and architecture can merge on a human scale.  

"My idea is to create a simple and powerful spatial concept with wood and light. The work’s transformation of the wood from straight lines to a circle creates a welcoming and warm experience in the building’s foyer, which otherwise consists of sharp lines in glass, steel, and stone. The symbolism builds on the ICC’s fundamental values and emphasises the primary axes of the architecture with two ”arms” reaching out and inviting one into a common, illuminated space", says the artist Eske Rex about the work.

 

The Danish Arts Foundation appointed Eske Rex for the task. 

”Danish design and architecture is in demand abroad. With this opportunity to donate a work for a distinctive Danish  edifice in an international class of its own, we on the committee saw an obvious chance to show how Danish design and architecture can intertwine in a total experience for the user,” says the chairperson for the Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Crafts and Design Project Funding, Astrid Krogh, who elaborates:

”We appointed Eske Rex for the job because he works in an exciting cross-aesthetic field in which art, design, and architecture are naturally interwoven.”

The Embassy of Denmark in The Hague and the Danish Agency for Culture have facilitated contact with the International Criminal Court. 

The Danish ambassador to the Netherlands Ole E. Moesby says: 
”Denmark has always fully supported the International Criminal Court and its core values since the beginning.  Therefore, we can be proud that Denmark is able to leave such a unique fingerprint on the physical framework of the Court, a framework that allows the institution to exude credibility, openness, and neutrality, which is crucial for witnesses, victims, and affected societies.”

Facts:

The Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Crafts and Design Project Funding appointed Eske Rex and financed the work in the amount of DKK 1.2 million. The Danish Embassy in The Hague and the Danish Agency for Culture facilitated contact with the International Criminal Court. The work will be installed at the International Criminal Court in November 2015. The new headquarters of the International Criminal Court was built by the architectural firm schmidt hammer lassen architects. The building will be open for use in January 2016.

Rean more about Eske Rex here
Read more about the Danish Arts Foundation here

ICC Permanent Premises wins NEC Large Project of the Year Award

The ICC Permanent Premises Project has won the award for the NEC Contracts Large Project of the Year 2015. The Winners of these international awards were announced on Monday 20th April 2015 at the closing of the NEC Annual Seminar in London. 

The theme for the awards was collaboration using NEC3 contracts with particular emphasis on how all parties involved acted in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation. This success recognised the result of the excellent collaboration between the ICC (Client), Courtys (General Contractor) and Brink Groep (Project Manager).

The judges' panel on their comments for the ICC Permanent Premises mentioned that "the focus was placed on achieving mutual benefits through opportunity workshops and best value for money solutions, which generated trust between the parties. The project team also took an important leap of faith in using an NEC3 target contract for this major project in the Netherlands, in order to support the collaboration strategy".

As well as winning the award for the Large Project of the Year, the ICC Permanent Premises also received Highly Commended (runner up) for the NEC Client of the Year 2015.

More pictures from the Awards Ceremony can be found here

Moving towards the ICC Permanent Premises: Landscape around the new premises

Landscape plays a very important role in the look and functionality of the new ICC premises. It is designed to match harmoniously with the adjacent dune landscape and works as a fenceless security measure. 

Location and surrounding area
The ICC new premises is situated in the former site of the Alexander military barracks, on the border of the city of The Hague and the Meijendel dune landscape. The area is an important water reservoir and Natura 2000 ecological protected area. One of the primary aims of the landscape is to “reunite” the site with the dune landscape area.

The garden motif and plants play an important role in the security of the building, preventing access to it in a visually friendly way instead of the use of high, disfiguring fences.

In the design of schmidt hammer lassen architects, one of the primary ideas was to situate the ICC complex as a cut in the landscape, establishing an interior that relates to the international character of the ICC, visually displayed by the courtyard gardens, and an exterior that relates the ICC to the local Dutch landscape and opens it to the public. SLA, the landscape architects, played an important part in bringing green and nature into the project in the detailed design.

Plants have the highest priority in the landscape design. Everybody who visits or works at the ICC should be able to feel familiar with the landscape, externally or internally, in the courtyards of the building complex. In a future issue, we will focus more on the interior character of the building with the different landscape types from all over the world, expressed in 5 courtyards integrated as a part of the parterre level. 

Vegetation
The vegetation on the ICC site is “borrowed” from the adjacent Meijendel dune area with grasses, herbs, shrubs and small trees, selected from local species. As time goes by, the vegetation will evolve and the dune slopes facing North and East will have different vegetation from the ones facing South and West. The different sun, wind and water conditions in the dunes will allow some plants to thrive and some to fade, creating variations throughout the landscape. In this way, the ICC site will be perceived as a coherent part of Meijendel dunes.

The shrubbed area is also part of the security concept and thorny shrubs in the dunes along the site border replace any fence which would normally be required to ensure an acceptable security level. By using resident vegetation, the landscape will easily become inhabited by native birds, bats, sand lizards and insects. All plants are in line with Natura 2000 ecological area guidelines.

Security
The new premises’ security level is extremely high, due to the nature of the organisation. By integrating the security precautions in the general landscape concept, the ICC permanent premises offers a safe and secure atmosphere with the security measures being hidden from public view.

Although the functions of the ICC Permanent Premises create many and complex demands, the simple and flexible concept allows the security, traffic and public functions to be integrated into the dunes in a way that makes the general impression of the site, experienced from adjacent streets and buildings, green and “duny”.

Plaza area

The aim of the plaza design is also to integrate the plaza functions into the dune landscape. Several access points leads into the dunes, where they merge and lead visitors towards the main entrance pavilion. The paved area is minimised to create as much dune landscape as possible. In two areas; in front of the entrance pavilion and near the main access point by van Alkemadelaan, the paths expand to create an open space. By the entrance pavilion the space is utilised for arrival and reception of visitors. By the van Alkemadelaan the expanded space can be used for public gatherings, TV news transmissions, commemoration and occasionally even demonstrations. The aim is to create an informal and democratic public space within the dune landscape, where these activities can take place without obstructing the entrance.

Mirror pond – Perimeter wall

Around the building complex a 3metre high concrete wall is an extra security measure. What is special with this element is the fact that, although it is possible for everyone inside the building to see it, from the outside the wall is integrated into and hidden by the landscape.

Between the building and the wall, a mirror pond surrounds the building and depending on the position of the sun, the time of the year, the reflections of the façade with its trapezoid windows, the mirror pond and the wall with art integrated on it - will offer a playful result.

Stedenbouw: "Transparent sculpture in the dune landscape"

'ICC PERMANENT PREMISES': Transparent sculpture in the dune landscape

Text: Jan-Kees Verschuure Image: schmidt hammer lassen architects

Article published in Stedenbouw

(English translation below)

The International Criminal Court is moving to permanent premises in The Hague. At the edge of the dunes, at the ‘Oude Waalsdorperweg’, a transparently designed complex is being constructed, offering users and visitors maximum functionality and safety, while at the same time merging into the surroundings. “Standards are high, that also applies to the level of cooperation between the construction partners”, says project manager Bart van Eijk of contractor Courtys, a consortium of VolkerWessels companies Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren.
 

The International Criminal Court, established in 2002, did not have permanent premises in The Hague, where it has its seat. The 'ICC Permanent Premises', as the newly constructed premises designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects are called officially, will replace several of the ICC’s locations in The Hague (including a temporary court building at the Binckhorst industrial site) after July 2015. The contract was awarded to Courtys following an extensive preselection, and construction started in the spring of 2013.

COURT TOWER
At the location of the former Alexander military barracks a complex is being built consisting of six volumes, of which the middle and largest will house the courtrooms. The lower towers on both sides of the Court Tower will house the ICC’s investigation services, judicial powers and administrative services. “The shell has a slim, strong construction of prefab concrete which is based on top of a cellar of in situ concrete, and is largely covered by quadrangular prefab facade elements in white aluminium’, explains van Eijk. “These are complemented by glass elements that are placed at different angles, to make it appear as if the facade changes colour. The Court Tower is covered by a steel construction that includes a green wall, which gives the impression that the courtyard gardens between the volumes and the dune landscape around the building continue across the building. The office volumes are open and allow for plenty of daylight to enter – with a lot of free space, whereas the judicial services and accompanying routing are separated to the maximum. The roof of the first floor, which runs across all construction volumes, is a green roof planted with sedum, and from a technical perspective the building is designed in a sustainable manner, and includes a thermal energy storage system, LED lighting and movement detectors.”

SMALL FOOTPRINT
The centralised new construction of the ICC consists of approximately 56,000 square metres of gross floor area, 1,200 work spaces and three courtrooms (one on top of the other), a conference centre, a restaurant, an international criminal law library, waiting rooms for witnesses, a press centre and storage space. The location also includes a covered bicycle parking facility and a car park for staff and visitors.

An extensive schedule of requirements, translated by the architect into an ‘abstract, informal sculpture in the landscape'. Van Eijk: “It’s a compact complex of buildings with a relatively small footprint, minimising land use and returning the landscape to the city. Although all parking areas are above ground level, just like the building they will be fully integrated into the dune landscape. The building radiates openness and sustainability, while offering at the same time security to users and space for expansion.”

NEC 3 CONTRACT
The ICC’s shell construction has been completed without major problems, according to van Eijk. The most important part of the prefab facade elements has been mounted, and the complex was expected to be fully windproof and waterproof before Christmas. “The finishing work and installations have to be completed in March 2015, so that three months are left for adjustments and commissioning until the official handover in July. The integration of the various requirements, including a high security level, requires a lot of attention, but this project reflects all aspects of the image the International Criminal Court wants to project. An important basis for good cooperation is the British building contract form NEC 3 (similar to Engineer & Construct, ed.). The contract stipulates that the construction partners trust each other and solve problems together, as a single construction team.”

'AT THE SERVICE OF THE ENVIRONMENT'
The NEC3 contract includes, for example, the early warning system, which guarantees that problems are reported and discussed at an early stage, as a result of which additional costs and delays can be avoided. It has already proved its worth, says van Eijk. “During the process, for example, we switched from composite facades to aluminium facades; that was done in close cooperation. At first, the change looked like a major challenge, but in the end everything went very smoothly – and the desired look was kept.”

For the client, this international project is ground-breaking, but it can easily be combined with the Dutch polder model of seeking compromise, says Courtys’s project manager. “In practice, we’re growing towards each other. The Danish architect, for example, hired Dutch people to translate its design into the practices of the Dutch construction industry. The municipality of The Hague is supportive, also in its communications with residents, for whom we organise a coffee session every month. Construction consortium Courtys, just like the ICC Permanent Premises, is at the service of the environment.”

Construction information

CLIENT
International Criminal Court

PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Brink Groep

DESIGN
schmidt hammer lassen architects (building); SLA (landscape)

ENGINEER & CONSTRUCT (NEC 3)
Courtys, VolkerWessels companies Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren

INSTALLATIONS
HIL, consortium of VolkerWessels company HOMIJ Technische Installaties and Imtech Nederland

CONSTRUCTION PERIOD
Spring 2013 – July 2015

Project information

SUSTAINABLE, INTEGRATED INSTALLATION SOLUTIONS

The HOMIJ/Imtech consortium supplies all building-related installations in the construction of the ICC Permanent Premises in The Hague. “We deliver a sustainable contribution to the project with the DLS concept developed by HOMIJ”, says marketing manager Martijn Haan.

The ICC Permanent Premises will also be state of the art in terms of installations. “The installation package must be flexible and sustainable and designed in BIM; our DLS concept integrates perfectly with that.” A backbone of electrical and mechanical installations will be located in the building’s main shafts. The prefab pipes are assembled for each floor, and access points and equipment are supplied on a plug and play basis. “DLS has a large number of advantages. It works fast, from a logistics point of view everything is fully optimised, and in the exploitation phase, it’s easy to move functions to another area.”

HOMIJ has developed the concept further by providing an add-on for special integrated LED lighting. This DLS option involves an integrated, DALI-controlled ceiling lighting system, as well as LED lighting that is integrated in aluminium laminate strips in the ceiling. “The traditional fluorescent systems are a thing of the past, and the lighting fixtures and the ceiling form one whole now. Apart from the fact that LED lighting has a longer life and is more energy efficient than fluorescent systems, the DALI protocol also ensures that the use and life of each separate LED can be monitored. As soon as the luminous output drops below a certain value, we replace the LED. Preventative replacement of lamps is not necessary. We’re also taking major steps forward in terms of reducing the raw materials and energy to be used as a result of the total absence of sheet metal fixtures. The completely separate led/driver combination makes it possible to separate the replacement of LED lamps from that of the drivers, thereby reducing the burden on the environment.”

Project information

STEEL CONSTRUCTION AND ROOF

De Kok Staalbouw supplies and installs steel constructions, the roof cladding and the roof and facade grids for the ICC Permanent Premises, commissioned by Courtys. It concerns the steel construction for the five Office Wings, the steel construction, roof cladding and roof grids for the Main and the Staff Pavilion and the most eye-catching part, the steel frame around the Court Tower.

All disciplines in this project are fully controlled in a BIM model. Every week, the BIM Model Manager provides an update of the entire BIM model. The big advantage of the BIM model is that, during meetings, a virtual image of any overlap with other disciplines can be shown, thus reducing the costs of failure. An additional requirement of this project was the bomb blast resistant calculation of the entire main steel construction.

In order to finalise the steel construction of the facade frame, De Kok Staalbouw made a mock-up in advance, containing the various connections and colours. Due to the project’s high aesthetic demands, this offered the client the possibility to make the right choices in advance. During the assembly of the facade frame around the Court Tower, 210 planters are also mounted. The planters are located at various positions in the frame, divided across the four facades.

ICC Permanent Premises celebrates reaching its highest point

On 27 November 2014, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Permanent Premises Project celebrated the important milestone of the highest point of the construction of the new building.

This achievement was celebrated during a ceremony at the construction site, attended by representatives of all the parties involved in the construction activities of the new ICC premises, including the ICC Project Team, Courtys' construction and design teams, and all of the project subcontractors.

This ceremony, which marked the completion of the steel frame that is built around the Court Tower – the highest point of the structure, was marked by raising the construction team's flag at that highest point. It was held in recognition of the enormous effort the construction team has put into ensuring the new premises remains on track, to be completed on schedule and within budget in the 3rd quarter of 2015.

In his speech, ICC Permanent Premises Director Neil Bradley stated that "this hugely important building will soon become the home of the ICC and for the next generation will be instantly recognised throughout the world as an important symbol of the quest for peace and justice".

After just one and a half years of construction work, beginning in April 2013, the new ICC premises is now a major step closer to completion, with the façade complete and the remaining projects –landscaping and finishing the interior spaces – well under way.

Over 300 people who are currently working on the realisation of the ICC Permanent Premises attended the celebration, including engineers, architects, project managers and many of the specialist construction workers all of whom work collaboratively and simultaneously on different parts of the complex construction project. 

For more photos from this event, click here

The Green City: “The ICC is an example, a showcase of ‘green building’"

The Green City published a very interesting article-interview with the architects regarding the ICC Permanent Premises and the important role of the green elements in the building.

“The ICC is an example, a showcase of ‘green building’, planned as it is on the borders of The Hague-Scheveningen, where the city meets the undulating green landscape of the Dutch dunes, all the way to the North Sea”.

http://thegreencity.com/international-criminal-court-in-the-hague-showca...(in English)

http://degroenestad.nl/een-groene-duurzame-aanwinst-voor-de-juridische-h... (in Dutch)

An interesting article about ICC Permanent Premises in Cobouw

Cobouw published an interesting article-interview by Ingrid Koenen about the transparent character of the ICC Permanent Premises and the British standard building contract that has been used for the first time in The Netherlands in this project. 

For the two parts of the original version in Dutch check 'Stafhof met transparante uitstraling' and 'Slimmere standaard bij Internationaal Strafhof'.

(English translation)

The Hague – A yellow machine is demolishing the wall of the former barracks along the Oude Waalsdorperweg in The Hague. In the background stands the Court Tower of the International Criminal Court, with the striking office towers on either side of it. Cobouw took a look behind the scenes of this remarkable project.

 Suzanne van de Kerk.
Project managers Bart van Eijk (left) and Paul Fondse (right). 
Photo: Suzanne van de Kerk.

For security reasons, the huge building site is shielded from the outside world by a high fence. Red-and-white pylons in the sand mark the spot where a new four-metre-high wall will be erected to protect the explosion-proof building. A little further up, the wall panels, including plant trays with ivy, are already stacked in rows. They will shortly be adorning the 45-metre-high facade of the Court Tower.

This building differs from the office buildings and is the most striking. It will house three courtrooms, one on top of the other, where the international judges will soon be passing judgment on war criminals, murderers and dictators. As we stand in the main courtroom, what immediately stands out is the glass wall with the public gallery behind it. “If necessary, the public gallery can be hidden behind a curtain”, says Paul Fondse of Brink Groep, who was hired by the client, the International Criminal Court. The chamber is three storeys high and can accommodate a total of forty people including judges, prosecutors and lawyers. Adjoining it are the booths for interpreters – “up to four languages simultaneously” – and rooms for the technicians.

Creeping and crawling our way along concrete and wood-clad stairwells, we arrive in the backbone, where the bright red water pipes, in particular, emphasise the 400-metre length of the space, which has been given the nickname of ‘the running track'. The thermal storage plant supplies an extensive water network throughout the building. Moving on, we come to the enormous storage space, where ‘Ikea-like’ shelving will soon be holding the supplies for missions and the office supplies. ‘Not just the photocopying paper, but also things like tents, sleeping bags and water pumps.’

‘The International Criminal Court has insisted on a green and transparent effect. This is intended to provide a sense of calm for the witnesses, many of whom are traumatised,’ explains Courtys’ project manager, Bart van Eijk. The five interior gardens, the sedum roofs and the large expanse of glass meet those wishes.

Computer systems were stretched to the limits of their capacity in fleshing out the design in BIM, Van Eijk noticed. It was made somewhat manageable by breaking the entire project into parts. The extra effort more than paid for itself during the execution of the project and the number of mismatches was kept to a minimum. The data will also prove very valuable during the maintenance and operational phase after the building is completed.

All of the contractors carry an i-Pad with them so that they can consult the plans for the building, make a note of outstanding points and contact suppliers by e-mail even when they on the site. Weekly LEAN sessions are also held to ensure that the contractors maintain close contact and to prevent the various disciplines from getting in each other’s way.

On average, there are around 250 people working on the immense building site, and everywhere there are people busy finishing the roof, the construction and along the facades. Security is tight on the building site and the contractors and foremen and two security guards are constantly on the alert for unsafe situations.

The building is now practically sealed against wind and rain so it will be possible to perform the finishing work during the winter. Because the actual construction has to be completed by April. The offices will have a flexible layout and can be divided into areas of 1.20 metres, precisely the length of the wall panels.

Fire alarms, electricity sockets and ICT facilities (with flexible swivel arms) are concealed in the ceiling. The building is fitted entirely with LED lighting that is neatly hidden away in the grey laminate strips in the ceiling. The u-profiles are filled with insulating material to dampen noise. There will be heavy security in every department, each of which will have its own entry pass system. Most documents and files will be secret and extensive measures have been taken to ensure they stay that way.

The future entrance building is still just a construction pit, with the steel-reinforcement framework protruding several metres below the Normal Amsterdam Water Level (NAP). This is where in future all visitors will be screened and will have their passports checked. The building will be connected by two footbridges with the main building, which will actually have the status of international territory. At the rear are the cells and a special entrance where the suspects will arrive.

It is such a large project that the British partners initially insisted that there should be ten project managers. In the early months, the team was reinforced with an English project manager, but he quickly proved unnecessary. ‘You do notice the cultural differences, because his approach was mainly to create a lot of paperwork and document all the finesses. We are more inclined to discuss things and hold immediate consultations.’ The project managers are perfectly capable of completing the job. They have mastered the NEC3 form of cooperation.

The alternative to the UAC-gc leaves no room for mistrust and allows problems to be discussed. The method was immediately put to the test with the radical decision to replace the planned composite facade with aluminium. Because of the lack of experience with using composite for facades on this scale, the drastic decision was made to overhaul the design of the facade. The five office towers are dominated by the grey, white and transparent glass panels that look surprisingly similar to a beehive. The result would be boring with a plain, even facade, but the effect now is playful.

Contract: new premises for International Criminal Court (56,000 m²)
Client: International Criminal Court (ICC) Permanent Premises
Contractor: Construction combination Courtys (Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren, both part of VolkerWessels)
Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects
Constructor: RoyalHaskoningDHV
Contract type: D&C and NEC3
Construction budget (including moving costs): 203 million euros

 

 

The Hague – With the British NEC3 standard building contract, the construction process proceeds smoothly and with a lot of leeway for cooperation, optimisation and joint risk management. The 'early warning system' enables the parties to avoid major problems and additional costs.

 Suzanne van de Kerk
The shell of the ICC is almost ready; end of April 2015 the construction should be completed.
Photo: Suzanne van de Kerk

Project managers Paul Fondse (for the International Criminal Court) and Bart van Eijk (for Bouwcombinatie Courtys) are firmly convinced that the British building contract could quite easily replace the Uniform Administrative Conditions for Integrated Contracts (UAV-gc) that are commonly used in the Netherlands, and simplify the execution of many building projects. Ninety percent of the structural work for the exceptional building in the Scheveningen dunes has now been completed, as well as more than half of the finishing work.

The new building for the International Criminal Court is the first building project in the Netherlands for which the British standard contract has been used and both project managers are totally enthusiastic. The project is running very smoothly and is proceeding on time and on budget. The ceiling price, the joint procurement and the open book accounting system are all incentives for the parties to remain alert and to consult one another.

Plenty of improvements have been found. A lot of money has been saved, for example, with improvements in the design of the balustrades in the stairwell, by using poured-on-site walls in the basement and with a smarter design for the pond around the building. The modifications were made without in any way affecting the architectural design.

The building is due to be completed by the end of April 2015, but the period until July 2015 will then be used to resolve any outstanding issues and to conduct extensive tests in the courtrooms.

Naturally, there are always setbacks in such an enormous building project, but dilemmas were discussed at an early stage and resolved at the lowest possible cost. The builder accepted the job for a 'target price' and any variations will be divided according to an agreed formula.

Up to now, around 150 ‘early warnings’ have been issued and resolved, a third of them by the client and two-thirds by the contractor. ‘It is a breath of fresh air compared with the UAV-gc, which were, after all, drafted by lawyers and are not entirely clear. NEC3 was written by technical specialists and from a practical perspective,” explains Fondse.

The Courtys consortium (part of the Volker Wessels group) is also perfectly happy with the standards. The costs are settled and paid every month, so there is no need to find external pre-financing. With the system of open book accounting, it is clear where the windfalls and shortfalls have occurred and there is little need for the traditional discussions about additional work.

According to the project managers, the fact that NEC3 has not yet been used anywhere else, despite this success story, is due to the traditional attitude of the Dutch building industry: “UAV-gc is familiar to them, so adopting a new set of rules represents a bit of a hurdle. It does take some getting used to, but that drawback is more than compensated for by the benefits.”

Moving towards the ICC Permanent Premises: Court Tower

Every month and until the completion of the new premises of the ICC, the Permanent Premises Project Team will be introducing to you an element of the new building. 

The first monthly article will be dedicated to the heart of the ICC: the Court Tower.

This summer, the Court Tower, the building in which all core activities will be taking place, reached its highest point. The 10-storey building (42metres high), which stands in the middle of the building complex, will host 3 courtrooms and the Media Centre (which could be transformed into a fourth courtroom if needed in the future).

The Court Tower is located right in front of the main entrance of the Permanent Premises, offering the possibility to the public of having direct access to the public galleries and attending one of the hearings.

The unique appearance of the Court Tower aims to make it become the hallmark of the ICC: A block with a rendered façade, surrounded by a steel structure with large planters. The plants will keep changing colour, depending on the season, and the end result will be a playful combination in green and red shades. The greenery continues into the courtyard gardens on the two sides of the Court Tower, which will also be accessible to the public.

facade's steel structure with plantersFaçade steel structure with planters

 

The planter boxes which sit at every floor level are connected to an automatic irrigation system that is connected to the building management system. This varys the amount of water and nutrients that the plants receive according to the weather forecasts. This ensures efficient maintenance costs by restricting the speed at which the plants grow.

The main entrance of the complex is in front of the Court Tower. Visitors passing through the security booth will easily catch sight of the entrance at the end of the path leading to the public lobby. The lobby opens onto the public galleries in front and allows visitors to immediately sense that they are directly in front of the heart of the building – the courtrooms. Three scenic lifts (two for the public and one for journalists) will offer visitors a beautiful view of the city of The Hague on their way to the courtroom public galleries or the Media Centre respectively.

Courtrooms

The large courtroom is spread over three levels (basement, ground and first floor) and it is more than 10 metres high. The two smaller 2 storey courtrooms (on floors 4 and 5, and 6 and 7) are both bigger than the largest courtroom in the current premises of the ICC.

All three courtrooms are surrounded by all related functions, such as interpretation booths (6 booths with 3 seats each supporting 6 languages), ICT/AV technical support, AV booths, meeting rooms for defence/prosecution teams, judges’ deliberation room, status conference room (only in the large courtroom), holding cells, etc.

The total number of seats in the public galleries is 371 (171 seats for the large courtroom and 100 for each of the smaller courtrooms). In the courtrooms, there is specialist furniture for the participants (69 in the large one and 54 in the small ones).

The furniture and finishings are in colour and material balance. The courtrooms themselves and the public galleries have some natural daylight and a view to the sky outside through the glass façades. Daylight and a feeling of being in contact with the outside world are important factors in creating a calm working atmosphere in the courtroom.

For accessing the courtrooms, every party (judges, prosecution teams, defence teams and court services staff) will enter the courtroom from dedicated entrances, while the accused and the protected witnesses, after arriving at the ICC via the secure drop-off, will follow different secure routes, ensuring that they are totally segregated.

Media Centre

The Media Centre is located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Court Tower and its structural layout is similar to the courtrooms to allow for its future conversion to a fourth courtroom if needed. The two media floors are connected via an open staircase and a dedicated media lift that only serves these two floors and the courtroom viewing galleries.

Also, on the second floor the Press Briefing Room is located. The total number of seats available at the Media Centre is 104 Hot Desks (including the booths) and 168 seats in the main Press Briefing room itself (there are also 2 informal lounges for approximately 10 - 20 people). In addition, there are three AV/ Press Interview rooms.

Joint commemoration event for 17 July, Day of International Criminal Justice

Joint commemoration event for 17 July, Day of International Criminal Justice at the ICC Permanent Premises construction site

On 17th July 2014, the ICC Permanent Premises Project, the ICC Trust Fund for Victims and Courtys commemorated the Day of International Criminal Justice with a celebration at the construction site of the new ICC premises.

Courtys (the General Contractor of the project) made a donation of € 75,000 to the ICC Trust Fund for Victims. This is the largest private contribution received by the TFV to date and signals the recognition by the private sector of the importance of the ICC in the fight against impunity, as well as the unique role of the TFV to address the harm suffered by victims as a result of crimes under jurisdiction of the ICC. This amount is a result of both Courtys’ contribution, and its initiative to invite its partners to participate in a joint donation.

Furthermore, about 100 people working on the construction of the premises took part in a group picture for the ICC's social media campaign Justice Matters, a worldwide call for photos to be posted on Facebook in the lead-up to 17th July, expressing support for international criminal justice from around the world, and to connect those who strive for this important cause.

Celebrating 100.000 hours without accidents

Celebrating 100.000 hours without accidents at the Permanent Premises construction site

On Friday 9 May 2014, Courtys, together with the ICC, celebrated 100,000 hours without accident or injury at the construction site.

A big team effort has been put in, in order to raise safety awareness and all people working at the construction site were complimented for keeping high safety and security standards at the site. 

This was not a celebration just for a number, but also proof that people working on the construction of the ICC Permanent Premises work as a team, respect safety rules, use all necessary safety equipment and follow safety and security rules, which enables the construction site to remain a safe work environment. 

First office wing ready

First office wing ready

The first office wing has been completed and fully covered by the unique façade with the trapezoid window shape. While work on the interior, such as electrical and plumbing installations (lifts, fire sprinklers, etc. ) has started, the other office wings are growing rapidly, with the Court Tower having already reached its 6th floor.

Check the pictures to get an impression of the completed wing from the outside, and also to get a first feeling of the interior and the future office spaces.

 

Construction progress: first elements of façade

First facade elements of the ICC Permanent Premises

The construction team of Courtys has started mounting the first elements of the office wings’ façade. The impressive trapezoid shape of the façade windows will add value to the unique design of the ICC Permanent Premises, promoting the values of openness and transparency in a simple, but at the same time playful way.

In the meantime, the first office wing already having reached the top floor, several construction teams are working simultaneously in different parts of the building enabling the ICC new premises to rise.  

Guided tours of the construction site

ICC Staff Union Council visiting the Permanent Premises

Construction work is progressing steadily and the ICC Permanent Premises has started taking shape and becoming a reality. The only way to fully understand the real dimensions of this project would be to pay a visit to the site and attend one of the guided tours that will start soon.

As from May, the Permanent Premises Project Team will offer the opportunity to everyone (with priority to  ICC employees during the months of May and June), to visit the construction site and experience close-up what the new ICC premises will look like.

The members of the ICC Staff Union Council visited the construction site last week. This was one of the first groups of staff guided through the new building and they were impressed by its size and functionality.

If you would also like to have the chance to attend one of the guided tours, please visit our page dedicated to this on this website. As from July, guided tours will be scheduled on a regular basis and will be open to the public. 

A unique heat and cold system for the new ICC premises

In May 2013 the ICC signed an agreement with energy company Eneco for the realisation, operation and maintenance of an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) installation for a period of 30 years.

Eneco will cool and heat the new premises of the International Criminal Court and for this purpose it will build one of the largest heat and cold storage installations in the Netherlands. What is really unique in this project is the fact that the four underground sources for the storage of cold and hot water will be more than a kilometre away from the building, as the new premises of the ICC is built on a protected drinking water zone. 

ATES is an extremely sustainable way to heat and cool a building. It will save approximately 430 tonnes of CO₂ per year. That equates to a reduction of 45% compared to a more conventional system of gas boilers for heating and compression chillers for cooling.

The hot-cold storage system enables extremely efficient use of energy. A great deal of heat remains in buildings and the surrounding area in summer, which is only needed during the winter. And conversely, there is a great deal of cold remaining in the winter that can be used to cool the building in the summer. Supply and demand can be co-ordinated by temporarily storing heat energy and cold energy underground and using the natural insulation properties of the earth at the depth of 250 meters.

ICC holds groundbreaking ceremony for Permanent Premises construction

On Tuesday, 16 April 2013, the International Criminal Court (ICC) held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction work on the Court’s Permanent Premises in The Hague (The Netherlands). Construction will be completed towards the end of 2015, when the premises will be ready for use.

 the Mayor of The Hague, Mr Jozias Johannes van Aartsen; the ASP Vice-President, Ambassador Markus Börlin; the ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song; and the Secretary-General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Renée Jones-Bos © ICC-CPI

The ceremony was organised by the project’s Oversight Committee, on behalf of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP). The groundbreaking was conducted by four official guests: the ASP Vice-President, Ambassador Markus Börlin; the ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song; the Mayor of The Hague, Mr Jozias Johannes van Aartsen; and the Secretary-General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Renée Jones-Bos.

Introducing the ceremony, the Chair of the Oversight Committee, Mr. Roberto Bellelli, stated that “this is a point of no return on the path of international criminal justice […] the transition […] to a permanent architecture in international relations [whose] roots […] are being excavated in a visible and permanent structure in the ground of The Hague, in a mutually reinforcing relationship of Peace and Justice between this City and the ICC.”

“In just over two years, the ICC will be housed in an iconic group of buildings that will leave visitors with a strong image of the Court: that of an august institution established to combat impunity by imparting justice in accordance with the rule of law”, said ASP Vice-President Ambassador Börlin.

“An institution of global significance deserves a world class premises. That, I am pleased to say, is what we are building here”, stated ICC President Song.

“This summer we will be celebrating the centenary of the Peace Palace, the symbol of The Hague as the International City of Peace and Justice. Almost a century after the Peace Palace opened its doors, work begins on building what has been described as ‘the Peace Palace of the 21st century’: the International Criminal Court”, noted the Mayor of The Hague, Mr van Aartsen.

“The new ICC-building will become a landmark in the Netherlands and we are proud to have it on our territory. Our commitment with the ICC is consistent with a vocation to promote international law that is deeply rooted in Dutch history and which is reflected in the Dutch Constitution, said the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Jones-Bos.​

 

For more photos from this event, please click here​.

 

Contract for the realisation of the International Criminal Court permanent premises signed

ICC-CPI-20121001-PR840

Signing the contract, from left to right: Mr. Frans Snaaijer, Director of the Combination Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren; Mr. Marinus den Harder, General Manager of Boele & van Eesteren; Ms. Silvana Arbia, ICC Registrar; and Mr. Neil Bradley, ICC Permanent Premises Project Director © ICC-CPI

On 1 October 2012, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Combination Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren signed a contract for the realisation of the Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague (The Netherlands). The construction is expected to start in 2013 and to be completed by 2015. The building is designed by the Danish architecture firm schmidt hammer lassen architects.

“Today’s signature of the contract marks an important step forward in the realisation of the International Criminal Court’s permanent premises,” said ICC Registrar Silvana Arbia. “Taking place on the Court’s tenth anniversary, this signature is also a symbolic landmark in consolidating the ICC as a permanent institution,” she added. “The Court is fully appreciative of the support provided by the Host State throughout this process which is the testimony of its commitment to this institution.”

Combination Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren was selected to construct the permanent premises for the ICC for an amount of €147 million. The new premises will be situated on the former site of the Alexanderkazerne (Alexander Barracks) between the natural rolling dunes landscape and the edge ofThe Hague (Netherlands) on the site given to the Court by the Host State.

“We are delighted to have been awarded such an internationally prestigious project and look forward to working with the International Criminal Court,” said Frans Snaaijer, Director of the Combination Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren. “Transparency, mutual trust and collaboration are the core values that will contribute to a sound basis. We embrace these values and have experienced in the past that these result in very successful projects for all parties involved.”

At present, the ICC is housed in interim premises in the Binckhorst area of The Hague. 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. In December 2007 the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (the Court’s founding treaty) decided that the ICC should be provided with newly built permanent premises.

About the Combination Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren

Combination Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren is part of the VolkerWessels Group. VolkerWessels is a Dutch group of companies with 16,000 employees in 125 operating companies and offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, theUnited Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Other partners involved in the combination are Homij/ Imtech and Scheldebouw.

About the ICC

The International Criminal Court 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, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Contact details

For further information about this press release, please contact:

Combination Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren: Gertrude van der Gun, Communication advisor
Tel. +31 (0)78 641 6363
E-mail : G.vd.Gun@visserensmitbouw.nl

International Criminal Court: Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit
Tel: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938
E-mail: fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int

Source:  International Criminal Court

Permanent Premises Project launched its facebook page

The ICC Permanent Premises facebook page has just been launched and we would like to make sure that it gets off to a great start. We kindly ask you to simply click on the 'Like' button from this page.

The ICC Permanent Premises facebook page was created as a social networking source of information. The only thing that you will need to do is to ‘Like’ our page and you will be informed about all project updates, view the latest audiovisual material, find out about interesting developments and have the chance to give valuable feedback!

We look forward to welcoming you to our facebook page.

Preliminary design is approved

On 24th November 2010 the Oversight Committee approved the preliminary design of the Permanent Premises project.