The Palace of Justice in Amsterdam, Netherlands, by Claus en Kaan Architecten is designed to be autonomous complex, recognizable in its presence. The exterior walls of this landmark piece are light, almost abstract, therefore adding universal and timeless quality to this massive architectural monument. The Magistrates Court and the Public Prosecutor co-habit in the Western IJ-dock complex, but clearly organized – each function is accommodated in separate volume and connected with one another by the walkway on the central fifth floor.
The abstract character of the façade is efficiently activated by applying very bright materials, white or light grey – natural stone, ceramic elements, whitewashed concrete, powder-coated steel plate and glazed brick. The glass openings, providing great panoramic views over the city and the docks are placed at the same plane as the outer walls, so the transition from one material to another is smooth and seamless.
The design is actually a compromise with the master plan of the area, done by Van Gameren and Mastenbroek, the given spatial envelope and the budget limitations. However, the architects managed to overcome the strict conditions and to provide the design they aimed for. Read the rest of this entry »