You might think of anything but a courthouse wouldn’t probably come to your mind when observing the images below. Designed by Kaan Architectenand submitted to the FRAME awards in May 2021, the Amsterdam Courthouse was built to replace the outdated judicial complex in the up-and-coming Zuidas district in south Amsterdam. With 50 courtrooms and a surface of almost 50.000 sqm, the building is the biggest courthouse in the Netherlands; its exemplary efficiency materializes in a stately yet open functional structure.
In its design, the Courthouse adheres to the principle that the judicial process is a public matter. Exuding approachable authority, the 50-meter-high building is a stately yet inviting institution for public discourse.
Built through a collaborative process between designers, engineers, contractors, and suppliers, the Amsterdam Courthouse is an intrinsically sustainable building. Energy efficiency is paired with embedded robustness, and future-proof solutions meet the requests for visitor and employee well-being. Future transformations are anticipated by achieving flexibility in the structure, technical installations, building physics, and spatial organization. All the public areas such as the square, parts of the façade, and the entrance hall are clad in natural stone. This choice comes not only for the material’s aesthetic qualities but also for the durability and resiliency of the surfaces for easy long-term maintenance.
It’s wonderful to see how contemporary art finds its place in the courthouse featuring specifically commissioned original artwork – most noticeably the entrance square sculpture by Nicole Eisenman, Jesse Wine’s series of sculptures in the back garden, and Femmy Otten’s courtroom artworks.