The past 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.
"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.