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
   
Area
   
Gross Internal Area 77,000m²
   
Number of Floors 5
   
Costs
   
Construction Cost £86,000,000
   
Client Regie der Gebouwen
   
Team  
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