Antwerp Law Courts

A team consisting of Richard Rogers Partnership, Bureau Van Kerckhove and Arup, was selected in 1998 as the finalist of an international open competition to design new law courts for the southern edge of the city of Antwerp. The new building, which was to be located directly over the entrance to the Amam Road tunnel, facing onto Bolivarplaats, forms part of the long term masterplan for the ‘new south’ of Antwerp which was also developed by RRP.

The brief for the new building included housing 7 courts (including civil, criminal, police, family, commercial, juvenile, employment), the provision of 32 hearing rooms of various size, living and dead archive spaces, efficient and flexible office space, public spaces and facilities. The building was to embrace the possibility of future expansion, be sustainable and environmentally efficient, and respond to the demands of the complex security arrangements required by the Justice Department.

As well as the functional and technical requirements, wider objectives of the project included rendering the workings of Justice more ‘transparent’, giving dignity to the process. In addition, the building was to be the catalyst for the masterplan; to restore ‘Bolivarplaats’ as an important civic space, to celebrate the prominent site on the axis of ‘Amerikalei’ at a major entrance into the city, to bring life to the large area of open space surrounding the site, and to repair a damaged part of the urban fabric in this quarter of Antwerp.

Project data
Location Antwerp, Belgium
Uses Category Civic
Dates 1998 – 2005
Gross Internal Area 77,000m²
Number of Floors 5
Construction Cost £86,000,000
Client Regie der Gebouwen
The Architect Richard Rogers Partnership
David Ardill, Stuart Blower, Ed Burgess, Yoon Choi, Martin Cook, Benjamin Darras, Hilde Depuydt, Mike Fairbrass, Rowena Fuller, Angela Gates, Kevin Gray, Sera Grubb, Sean Han, Ivan Harbour, Dennis Ho, Amo Kalsi, Steven Leung, Avtar Lotay, John Lowe, Tim Mason, Annie Miller, Andrew Morris, Tamiko Onozawa, Sabien Rietjens, Richard Rogers, Renee Searle, Patricia Sendin, Simon Smithson, Yoshi Uchiyama, Martin White
Co-Architect PVK Architects
Acoustic Consultant Arup Acoustics
Facade Consultant Lesos Engineering
Fire Consultant IFSET NV
Landscape Architect Wirtz International BV
Lighting Consultant Arup
Main Contractor Interbuild / KBC / Artesia
Quantity Surveyor Bureau Van Kerckhove
Services Engineer Arup / Bureau Van Kerckhove
Structural Engineer Arup / Bureau Van Kerckhove