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Palaces Without A People: A Post-National Forum

Naina Gupta
The siting of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague,
in the Netherlands transformed the urban fabric and its relationship
with the region and across Europe. Two projects, the New Centre and
the International Zone are urban projects that are currently being
developed in the city. The research contends that both these projects
are rooted in the same condition. As the city is increasingly becom-
ing international in its composition, traditional ideas of a civic forum
that were staged in the centre are now symbolic and redundant. This
transforms the centre to a generic site with an ambition to increase
density (floor area) and the creation of an enclave for the international
industry that is assumed to have no relationship with the existing city.
Through an analysis of the NGOs, because of their malleable jurisdic-
tion and intimate relationship with the ICC, the research proposes
that they create a new constituency in the city that bridges across the
multi-scalar political system and potentially can generate an alterna-
tive type of forum in the city – a post-national forum.

Research Question: What is a post-national forum? Who are the public of
the forum? How does the forum create a relationship between national and
international institutions?

Urban Question: How do NGOs transform the organisational and struc-
tural diagram of the ICC? How can they be organised in the city to create
relationship between the ICC and other political institutions?

Typological Question: What is the role of architecture in creating an adver-
sarial forum between autonomous NGOs? How must the multi-tenant office
space that is suggested as a form for grouping NGOs by the city be trans-
formed to create a forum?
Rendering by Hammer Larsen Schmitt, a Danish architectural
practice for the new building for the International Criminal Court
currently being built in The Hague
Architectural Association School of Archi-

Programme: Projective Cities (Taught MPhil
in Architecture and Urban Design)

Student Name: Naina Gupta

Project title: Palaces Without A People: A
Post-National Forum

Submission Title: Dissertation

Course Tutor: Dr. Sam Jacoby
Dr. Adrian Lahoud

Submission Date: 19.06.2015

Note: The total number of words of the main
dissertation body text excluding the essays in
the appendix, footnotes, captions in draw-
ings, the abstract and the narrative timeline
and bibliography is approximately 12960


“I certify that this piece of work is entirely
my/our own and that any quotation or para-
phrase from the published or unpublished
work of others is duly acknowledged.”

Signature of Student:

Date: 19.06.2015
Palaces Without A People: A Post-National Forum 1

Strategies: The Transnational Centre and the International Zone 13

The Court: A Space of Jurisprudence? 31

The Forum: Organisational Forms 47

The Post-Civic Condition: Civic 2.0 73

Appendix 76

Palaces Without a People:
A Post-National Forum
“This continuous mega-structural galleria, 800 by 250 feet, effectively establishes The
Hague’s new city center, together with a concert hall, hotel, and dance theater to the south-
east and a multiuse cultural center to the south.”
Richard Meier and Partners Architects project description of the town hall in The Hague

“Meier’s scheme, “as low as possible” at 14 stories, and introducing the atrium – that corner-
stone of American urbanism – as a symbol of civitas, was chosen”
Rem Koolhaas about the town hall designed by Richard Meier in The Hague1

Carel Weeber titled his 1977 master three definitions in the last six decades: unveil the transformations that the city
plan for the new centre in The Hague, national administrative centre, civic has undergone since its introduction
the Den Haag Forum. The plan was centre and recently as a generic city in the city and argues that though the
designed around typical architectural block with a mandate to increase floor institution does not have a traditional
institutions associated with civic life: area. The recent plan of the new centre civic function it creates a constituency
the town hall, the church and a theatre. owes its transformations to the influx of that offers an opportunity to define what
It is traditionally assumed that these intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) a forum in a contemporary international
institutions stage the city centre as a that has changed the composition of city could be. To differentiate it from the
civic space and generate a forum. In the city and its relationship with the traditional forum this research is going
reality an urban analysis of the new region, the country and internationally. to define a forum generated around
centre in The Hague, in the Netherlands The New Centre and its forum do not international organisations as a post-
proves that the urban staging of these respond to the current redefinition of national forum.
institutions in the contemporary context the city as a centre of international law.
of this city is quaint and a nostalgic Using the International Criminal Court What is a post-national forum? Who are
gesture. The New Centre has undergone (ICC) as an example the research aims to the public of the forum? How does the forum
create a relationship between national and
international institutions?

The Hague offers an interesting
perspective of a multi-scalar
political system. Historically it is
the administrative centre of the
country but not its capital and it has
a powerful local administration and
is the capital city of South Holland.
This existing dual political scale is
amplified by the inclusion of European
and international organisations in
the city. The systems - local, national,
European and international - are laid
as disconnected fragments across the
urban landscape appearing autonomous
and disconnected, but it is very evident
in the way that they function that
they are different components of a
single political order. Along with the
Drawing of the masterplan by Carel Weeber showing traditional civic institutions that define the site as a forum redefinition of the New Centre, the city

The City’s Living Room - Richard Meier’s atrium in the town hall boasts of being the largest in the Netherlands

is also planning a structural vision for International Court of Justice, the constituency that is created by
an International Zone - a suburb to the European Court of Human Rights, the institution. This constituency,
main city fabric. The international zone International Criminal Tribunal of predominantly composed of NGOs
is an urban project that retroactively Yugoslavia, and International Criminal changes the way that the institution
attempts to cluster IGOs with embassies, Tribunal of Rwanda to mention a few. functions and the relationship that it
research institutes, headquarters It is autonomous from the United has with the city and complicates other
of multinational corporations and Nations (UN). The ICC as an institution design parameters like property rights,
nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), is young. It was ratified in 1998, and security, jurisdiction and representation.
into a single urban definition and create as a contemporary institute it rests
a tailor-made environment for them that between historical architectural legacies NGOs have proven to be an important
it defines through urban security. The and projective urban policies that are source of employment in the city.
international zone as an urban project currently being planned for it. It is a Statistics show that though they only
originated with the decision of the city hybrid of two architectural legacies – the contribute to 13% of the employment
to site the ‘permanent premises’ of the IGO type2 and the law court building generated by international organisations
ICC on a military land North of the city type. These two legacies determine but compared to the international
centre near the coast. the urban setting, representation, and organisations in the city they employ a
spatial organisation of the institution. large percentage of the local population.
The ICC is used as an exemplary The research contends that the The number of NGOs in the city has
institution in this research because current design of the institution is increased by 84% since the hosting
it is part of an existing dispersed only a selective interpretation of these of the ICC in The Hague. Though it
international legal system – legacies, one that deliberately neglects is common to associate NGOs with

international zone

city centre



0 250
1. Carnegieplein
1 Carnegie cluster
Plein Cluster
2 World forum Cluster
World Forum cluster 750
3. Kazerne
3 Alexander Kazerne

The urban plan of The Hague showing the two projects generated by the introduction of the ICC in the city with a detail of the different clusters of the international zone

0 40 0 40 0 40

0 40 0 40 0 40

Institution: Permanent Court of Arbitration Institution: International Criminal Tribunal for Institution: Organisation of Prohibition of
Ratified: 1895
Institution: Permanent Court of Arbitration Yugoslavia
Institution: International Criminal Tribunal for Chemical Weapons
Institution: Organisation of Prohibition of
Cluster: CarnegiePlein
Ratified: 1895Permanent Court of Arbitration Ratified: 1993
Yugoslavia Ratified: 1997
Chemical Weapons
International International Criminal Tribunal of Yugoslavia Organisation of Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Cluster: 1905
CarnegiePlein Cluster: World
Ratified: 1993 Forum Cluster: World
Ratified: 1997 Forum
Ratified: 1895 Ratified: 1993 Ratified: 1997
Architect: Louis
Constructed: Codonnier
1905 Constructed:
Cluster: World1953
Forum Constructed:
Cluster: World2000
Cluster: Carnegieplein Cluster: World Forum Cluster: World Forum
Architect: Louis Codonnier Architect:
1953 Van der Steur Architect:
Constructed:Kellmann McKinnell and Knowles
Constructed: 1905 Constructed: 1953 Constructed: 2000
Architect: Louis Codonnier Architect:Adrianus
Architect: AdrianusVan
Steur Architect:
Architect: Kellmann








0 40 0 40 0 40

0 40 0 40 0 40

Institution: Europol
Europol Institution: International
International Criminal Court
Criminal Court Institution: Eurojust
Ratified: 1998
Institution: Europol
1998 Ratified:
Institution: International Criminal Court
1998 Ratified: 1998
Ratified: 1998 Eurojust
Cluster: World
Cluster: Forum
1998 Forum Cluster:
Ratified: AlexanderKazerne
1998 Kazerne Cluster:
Cluster: World Forum
Constructed: 2011
Cluster: World2011
Forum Constructed:
Cluster: 2015
Constructed: 2015Kazerne Constructed:
Cluster: World
Constructed: 2015
Architect: Quist Wintermans Architects
Quist Wintermans Architects Architect:
2015 HammerSchmitt
Architect: Larsen Hammer SchmittArchitects
Architects Architect:
Architect: Mecanoo Architects
Architect: Quist Wintermans Architects Architect: Larsen Hammer Schmitt Architects Architect: Mecanoo Architects

Surveying the intergovernmental organisations in the city




0 10 30 80

1 Parliament
2 Supreme
Supreme Court
3 Townhall
Town Hall

The atrium of the Town Hall The courtyard of the Parliament The salle des pas perdues of the Supreme Court
Atrium of the townhall Courtyard of the Parliament Salle des pas perdues of the Supreme Court

Civic institutions in the city and their public thresholds

1. Hotel
IGOs, they precede them, by a century, 2.Dance theatre
3.University of Law
and were called private international 4.Ministry of Justice and Security
5.De Resident: Commercial development
organisations.3 6.Town Hall
7.Government Building Agency
A. Den Haag Centraal Station
B. Church
As Michel Feher states, they are
generated at all scales of governmental
systems. As an example, Amnesty 7

International is an international
NGO, it has a national division called
Amnesty International Netherlands and 4

a representative body for international
justice at the ICC in The Hague -
these divisions and bodies allow it to
slip between jurisdictions and issues, 6
bridging different scales of political
institutions. Due to their malleable
jurisdiction, their association with the 2

ICC, and their intimate relationship
with the city, NGOs can be considered a B

natural complement to the multi-scalar
political order that is seen in the city A detail of the urban project called the New Centre within the city centre
and a suitable composition for a post-
national forum.4

How do NGOs transform the organisational understanding of the nuances of their How must the multi-tenant office space
0 10 30 80

and structural diagram of the ICC? How relationship with each other and other be transformed to create a forum? What
can they be organised in the city to create institutions in the city. As a form, multi- is the role of architecture in creating an
relationship between the ICC and other tenant office buildings are antithetical adversarial forum between autonomous
political institutions? to the fundamental premise of a forum, NGOs?
which by definition is an adversarial
NGOs as private organisations rely space that allows negotiations and Using the New Centre as a site and
on public and philanthropist funding confrontations between different through specific institutions - the ICC,
for the work that they do. They are points of view. Urban organisational the Ministry of Justice and the town
extremely wary of their associations with strategies like organisation of a group hall - the research attempts to unfold
other organisations and corporations, form and the architectural experiments the role of architecture and urban
including other NGOs because these in the design of the theatre and in design in creating a post-national forum
associations can prove to be detrimental performance art provide an alternate across different political institutions.
to their ability to find funding. As interpretation of how urban design The design explores different meanings
acknowledged economic agents by the and architecture can create a space of of the term ‘adversarial’ in urban and
city, The Hague, has been designing confrontation and negotiation between architectural form: Who owns the space?
multi-tenant office spaces for them. autonomous private agents, like NGOs How do the institutions retain their
These buildings are interiorised and and the way that they can be organised autonomy? How are the organisations
have no relationship with the city. They in relation to different political represented? How are boundaries
are purely functional spaces that group institutions. created within the space between the
similar types of organisation without an different organisations? How does it

“Rather than good intentions, limited ambitions, or insufficient means, what distinguishes the
various politics of the governed [referring to NGOs] as such is that they are all predicated
on the intolerance of the effects of a particular set of governmental practices - regardless of
whether the governing agency responsible for these practices is the state, an international
organisation, a public institution or a private corporation.”
Michel Feher.

choreograph multiple encounters? Section End Notes

How does it transform that city and 1 Rem Koolhaas, ‘Dirty Realism: A Mini-Farce’, S,M,L,XL,
its relationship with the region and (Monacelli press, 1995) pg. 571
2 In the appendix one can find an essay that I have written
that discusses the evolution of the IGO type titled ‘From
Palaces to Headquarters’: Le Corbusier and the evolution
The research is structured in three of the IGO Type
3 Thomas Davies, ‘Introduction’, NGOs: A History of Trans-
parts: Strategies, The Court and The Forum.
national Civil Society, (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Each of these sections discusses a spe- 4 NGOs are non-representational organisations and I
cific scale of research along with design consider them a natural complement to a political order
that is quasi-representational. Any political system that is
suggestions pertinent to that particular
created by IGOs is quasi-representational.

Strategies trace the urban plans and
studies generated by the city since the
siting of the ICC in The Hague. There
were two distinct trajectories that the
city embarked on, the creation of a
transnational centre and the interna-
tional zone. Both these trajectories at-
tempt to define the relationship between
the city and the ICC, and they use the
institution as a way to renew parts of
the city but neither suggests a way that
the ICC can create an urban function.
This section attempts to create an urban
strategy for the institution that allows it
a potential urban role in the city and the
generation of a forum.

The Court focuses on the ICC as an
institution and the precedents that
determined its architecture and the way
that it is planned in the city. This section
attempts to restructure the organisa-
tional diagram of the court suggesting
that the constituency (NGOs) that it has
generated gives it an alternative role as a
space of jurisprudence – where the pro-
tocols of international law are created
and debated. This interpretation of the
court allows it to be staged differently
within the city.

Through specific example of NGOs that
work in The Hague, The Forum discusses
their role in advocacy and dissemina-
tion of knowledge, setting up the need
for a post-national forum in the city.
It criticises the design of multi-tenant
office spaces and suggests an alternative
urban-architectural form to create the
adversarial forum.

Spuikwartier 1964 Ministry buildings 1962 - 2002 Lucas and Niemeyer architects Black Madonna by architect Carel Weeber (model )

The above picture is taken in 1964. This is during the first Though this project amounted to nothing, one of the private The success of the architecture of the two buildings within the
phase of its development from 1945 - 1977 when the project was buildings designed by the architectural practice of Lucas and masterplan shifted the focus of the project from urban design
called Spuikwartier. the ambition for the area was an adminis- Niemeyer was realised. This became the home for the Ministry to architecture. Richard Meier (City hall), OMA (Netherlands,
trative district for the country. of Justice and the Ministry of Internal affairs till 2010. Today Dance Theatre), Michael Graves, Ceasar Pelli (De Resident)
the building is up for renovation with a mixed programme amongst many others all have buildings within this strip.
including a university campus.

Master-plan proposal W.M. Dudok 1945 De Nieuw Hout proposal 1974 Buildings of De Resident by Michael Graves and Ceasar Pelli

The first masterplan was proposed by W.M. Dudok in 1945. De Nieuw Hout, is one the last proposals that was made during Though the site appeared to be complete in 2002, city officials
The area was seen as a formal administrative centre of the this period. It is reminiscent of the sentiment that is used in the felt that it was missing the image of a world class city centre’.
country. The plan was not implemented because post-war this design of the centre in Rotterdam. Though it was not realised Basically It lacked an imposing skyline. The quest for the image
sort of design was seen as too expensive a way to be spending it shifted the focus of the planners from an formal administra- of the city centre led to the third phase of its development as
public money. tive district to a civic centre and set up the stage for the plan by the Wijnhaven Kwartier based on a plan by Richard Meier.
Carel Weeber. The Southern strip of the site from the Black Madonna till the
Netherlands Dance Theatre were meant to be demolished and
redesigned as towers.

Administration Centre proposal Pier Luigi Nervi 1962 Master-plan Carel Weeber 1977 Wijnhaven Kwartier vision by Richard Meier 2002

In 1962, the ministry of spatial planning decided to develop the The masterplan by Carel Weeber began a second phase this Today the project is called the new centre and its ambition is
area as a public-private partnership, where the public would was called the Den Haag Forum from 1977 - 2002. The plan regional and European connectivity.
provide the infrastructure and the buildings would be designed was a pedestrianised centre that was framed by two buildings
and built by private development by the architect. The Black Madonna - and a hotel at either end
of the site

Narrative timeline tracing the urban transformation from the administrative centre to the Den Haag Forum which concludes toady as the new centre

Government Offices Social Housing

Government Building Agency Ministry of Justice
external atrium/tunnel connecting the site to the station Architect: Hans Kollhoff
Architect: Jan Hoogstad

Offices Education

Muzentoren Old ministry towers - currently being reprogrammed
Architect: Rob Krier Architect: Lucas and Neymer

The New Centre today - a site of generic programme, and interiorised architecture by world renowned architects

High end apartments Commercial

De Resident Commercial development Inner fabric of the new centre
Architect: Rob Krier et al

Culture Public

Netherlands Dance Theatre Town Hall
Architect: Rem Koolhaas Architect: Richard Meier

An birds eye view of the new centre in The Hague dated 2007
the transnational centre and
international zone
Maarten Schmitt was appointed the reframed the vision for the city. The creating a spatial-economic product, the
city architect of The Hague in 1998, urban studies can be divided into two international zone. This shift in strategy
the same year that the International distinct periods, the first from 1998-2007 from a transnational centre to the
Criminal Court (ICC) was ratified by where the institution was an instrument international zone changed the urban
the Rome Statute. From an analysis of he used to create a transnational structure of the city and its relationship
the numerous urban studies that he political centre in the city and the within the region. This shift can be
commissioned it is fair to assume that second from 2007, when he reversed his viewed as a deliberate decision to de-
the ICC was critical in the way that he strategy and used the ICC as a tool for politicise the city through a collection
of urban products. As cities compete
for foreign investments, a common
trend for city officials is to design
neutral territories that appear urban
Reconnect with E19
but at the same time are empty of risk
because they are neither too big, nor too
ICC 2015-
small; they are optimised for a group of
people to live together for a common
economic purpose without a risk of
To Schiphol
urban confrontation or conflict. The
idea of the city as a site of confrontation
is extremely risky as it reduces foreign
ICC 1998-2015 investment and creating enclaves help
avoiding this problem. It is a perversion
of the theses proposed by Jane Jacobs
in Death and Life of Great American Cities
where she claims that self-interest and
economic gain is the best way to secure
a city and its people. Only now the city
is secured from its people.
To Rotterdam
To Brussels
During the first period, (1998-2007),
Maarten commissioned the Office for
Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) for
the urban studies Carrefour (1999),
Prins Clausplein (2001), and Delta
Metropool (2002). Carrefour, aims at
0 enlarging the city centre of The Hague
so that the ICC becomes part of the
The Transnational Centre and its urban projects The international zone
centre. By combining the Den Haag
New centre 1998 Centraal and Hollands Spoor station
into a single terminal this centre would
project: international zone: 2009
Binckhorst 2006 ICC 2015 - be well connected to both regional
ICC 1998-2015 Regional project: international Coast and trans-European rail networks.
Prins Clausplein used an intricate
Prins Claus Plein 2002
highway loop to connect The Hague
Regional project: Delta Metropool 2002
(international law) with Zoetermeer
(Bio-sciences) and Delft (technology)
to generate a trans-administrative
The urban studies and projects initiated by Maarten Schmitt, the transnational centre (1998-2007) and the international zone (2007-)

irregular geometrical area 600m x 275m
and is the administrative centre of the
Prins Claus Plein - Connecting neighbouring knowledge economy

nation and the city. Den Haag Centraal
currently feeds into the New Centre.
The project has been in progress since
To Schiphol
Leiden the 1950s.5 ‘New Centre’ is the third
name given to the project; the earlier
names are ‘The Administrative Centre’
and ‘Den Haag Forum’. Each of the
New centre 1998
projects had a very specific subject in
mind. The Administrative Centre (1950s)
was about the nation and its citizens
Binckhorst 2006
and representation of the country. Pier
Luigi Nervi’s proposal for the area was
a grand avenue bordered by a wall of
The Hague
towering ministries. The twin buildings
by Lucas and Niemeyer, for the Ministry
of Justice and Ministry of Internal
Affairs was the only building that was
E19 built for this plan and it is currently
being renovated to hold a university
0 of international law among its other
generic programmes. Den Haag Forum
(1970s) talked about the civic, and Carel
Weeber designed this master plan. The
site was pedestrianized from Den Haag
Centraal to the church. A plaza was
created in front of the church bordered
by the town hall, a flight of steps and
a dance theatre. Today on exiting the
Den Haag Centraal station, one sees the
Jan Hoogstad VROM ministry building
that is currently being renovated to
accommodate the changing structural
organisation of the ministry. A tunnel
through the building leads directly
The transnational knowledge centre created by the Prins Claus Plein highway knot to the church 600m ahead. The site is
dotted with cafes and shops. It does not
have the representative quality of an
administrative centre and neither does
knowledge centre. The final study, Delta the studies and the infrastructural it have a civic quality of a forum. The
Metropool projected a field metropolis reorganisation that they imagined. The first 300m have the ministry buildings
spanning the entire South Randstad different areas within this enlarged as interiorised towers and the latter
from The Hague all the way down to centre were treated as generic urban 300m ends in the empty square in front
Dordrecht. This metropolis would projects. The New Centre (2002) and of the church. A drawing for the area
have enough economic, political and Binckhorst (2006) are the two urban proposed by Richard Meier in 2002
cultural clout to be able to consort with developments projects that were to be shows the skyline that he imagines for
Brussels. The three studies projected redesigned within this transnational this new centre and this is the vision
a transnational centre in The Hague centre. The urban relationship between that is being realised today; the main
as a direct response to Brussels and New Centre and Binckhorst as seats aim of this project appears to be a desire
Luxembourg, the Capital(s) of Europe. of local, national and international to increase the floor area in the centre
power was not questioned or projected of the city. Binckhorst was planned
Unfortunately the vision of the and they were designed disconnected around the ICC, and projected as an
transnational centre stopped with from each other. The New Centre is an international district. Initially the ICC

DeltaMetropool - connecting the cities in South Holland - creating a metropolitan
project: international zone: 2009
landscape Regional project: international Coast - Strengthining economic
development along the coast

project: international zone: 2009 Wassenaar
Regional project: international Coast - Strengthining economic
development along the coast

The Hague Wassenaar

j ec

American Embassy


n al






American Embassy

ICC 2015-


n al

A16 The Hague
ICC 2015-

The Hague



The Hague extending across the entire South Randstad as a field in Delta Metropool The ICC 0as the generator of the International Zone and the renewal of the coast line

shared its office space with the newly architects is published in one of the vision of which is being developed at
formed Eurojust. Within a few years 5 pillow books that Maarten had the moment. The report continues,
the two organisations were jostling for commissioned in his eleven years and is and stresses the importance of the
space and at some point Eurojust was called International Hague.7 The report international industry for the economic
moved to another building. Binckhorst is a means to justify the creation of an growth of the city and the direct and
was slated for a complete makeover to international district to the citizens of indirect employment benefits for the
house these organisations and more like The Hague. Its narrative uses the events people. This story is repeated in the
them with the amenities that they would around the Peace Conference in the Guide to International Organisations in The
need, like housing, educational facilities, city in 1895 to subliminally project the Hague that is annually published by the
retail and entertainment.6 The urban international zone as a historical, and city administration.
proposal for Binckhorst is typical of inevitable unfolding of the destiny of
the need to replace obsolete industrial the city. The story that the book narrates The marketing of the International Zone
neighbourhoods with a knowledge is about De Bazel’s drawing of a plan claims that it is an extension of the city,
industry, which in the case of The Hague for a ‘Centre of World Internationalism’ a walk through the area and an analysis
is the international industry. after the competition for the Peace of the urban plan indicates otherwise.
Palace was announced. This centre It is designed to be extremely secure
In 2007, with the start of the economic was to be an intellectual, scientific and and parts of it are not accessible by
crises, Binckhorst lost its developer cultural forum as a natural consort to public transport. Its plan is radial, with
partners and the project was placed the Peace Palace. This plan did not gain its centre occupied by a woodland and
on hold. The ICC and Eurojust still traction but a decade later it was dusted park. The periphery of this green heart
needed permanent premises. This is off and brought back by Berlage, but is zoned to house intergovernmental
when Maarten commissioned a report then the forum was transposed to the organisations. The Peace Palace is in the
by Theo Deutinger Architects for diagonal corner from the Peace Palace, South; European institutions (Eurojust,
the siting of an international zone. on a site that is occupied by the military Europol and the International Criminal
The term international zone as used and bordered by dunes and the North Tribunal of Yugoslavia) to the West
by The Hague defines a clustering Sea. This is the same site that is chosen and international institutions (NATO
of international organisations like for the new permanent premises of the and the ICC) are in the Northeast.
embassies, nongovernmental and ICC in 2009. The almost rectangular The Northeast used to be the military
intergovernmental organisations, area with the Peace palace at one corner area and is difficult to access from the
and headquarters for Multinational and the ICC at its diagonal corner is the city and the rest of the zone by public
corporations (MNCs) like Shell and area that is demarcated for development transport. A highway constructed in
Aramco. The study by Deutinger as the International Zone, the structural 2012, connects the zone from West to




3 2
1 8


14 18

6 19
15 16

0 250

International Organisations Education and policy institutes

1. Eurojust
12. Convention centre
2. International criminal tribunal for former yogoslavia
13. T.M.C Asser institute
3. Europol
14. Peace Palace Library and Carnegie Foundation
4. Organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons
15. The Hague Academy of International Law
5. International court of justice and Permanent court of arbitration
16. Clingendael - Netherlands institute of international relations
6. Hague conference on private international law
7. NATO/C3 Agency
8. International Criminal Court
9. Iran United states claims tribunal

National Security International Business

10. Military barracks and museum 17. Aramco Overseas Corporation
11. Scheveningen Prison 18. Shell Headquarters
19. Chicago Bridge and Iron company



The retroactive grouping of the international industry into an urban project - the international zone

“The national innovation centre of the Dutch security cluster (HSD Campus), which has East directly to Schiphol. This allows it
been established in 2014, also accommodates a ‘real-time intelligence field lab’. This ‘living to be disconnected from the rest of the
lab’ will primarily be used as an experimental facility for comprehensive protection of the city and this was experienced during
international zone. Stakeholders have a need for intelligence and operational information the Nuclear Energy Summit hosted in
to share the security of this region. By experimenting ‘real time’ a concrete contribution can the city in March 2014. This highway is
be provided in reducing the vulnerability of the area and improving response in the event of a ribbon of varying thickness, thinning
emergency.” in front of the institutions as a way to
website - Hague Security Delta 8 slow vehicles down, creating bottlenecks
and making it an undesirable route to
take unless necessary. It also allows for
surveillance of the vehicle in front of
the institutions; this is an important
urban strategy while designing for
security. Another variation of a similar
intent is seen with the congestion
charge policy in London, where traffic
is greatly reduced in the city of London,
an extremely vulnerable area that was
heavily bombed in the 1990s and the
roads are bottle-necked deliberately
to increase surveillance. Vehicles are
considered one of the largest threats
to urban security. Surrounding the
international organisations is the third
ring, a sparse field of townhouses, many
of which are inhabited by NGOs and
embassies. The administration of the city
has demarcated two main streets in the
South fringing the city centre and the
international zone for non-governmental
organisations and has designed
prototypes of a multi-tenant office space
especially programmed for NGOs.

In March 2014, the city inaugurated the
offices for The Hague Security Delta
Campus (HSD). The website of HSD
clearly states that the International
Zone is a site for experimentation for
the campus to develop and hone its
services and products to create urban
security across the world. Since 2009,
the Fyra, (high speed train) does not
stop at The Hague and the city is part
of the slower infrastructural network.
This can be interpreted as a deliberate
act of disconnecting the city from the
everyday life of the people. It is an act
that disconnects the city from its context
and is a complete inverse of the strategy
that Schmitt had in mind before the
economic crises.

Hendrick Anderson’s plan for the Centre of International Communications as a response to the Peace Palace and then amended for the
Palace of the League of Nations

As cities vie for global competitiveness,
they are increasingly designed as a
landscape of enclaves, each has its
specific audience, economic and legal
framework. Instead of a single centre,
the city is a field of centralities each
with its own landmark building and
each of these centralities is neither
planned nor zoned but categorised by
different economic functions. Enclaves
and generic city centres are two sides
of the same coin. The enclave moves
functions that require atypical plans
out of city centres, and this allows the
centre to become a space of genericity.
The generic space has the lowest risk -
it is completely elastic. The removal of
economic risk goes hand in hand with
the removal of politics from the city.

The International Zone is nothing but
a variant of the what Keller Easterling
describes as ‘The Zone’ - a generic
urban form that is an economic
and legal instrument for creating
exceptions.9 Easterling in her book
Extrastatecraft focuses on industrial
zones and their service economy variants
in developing economies. A zone is
typically assumed as a space where
cheap labour is instrumentalised for
multinational corporations (MNCs) who
are given tax incentives and property
ownership rights to train and employ
unskilled labour. It is a strategy to create
employment and skills in developing Le Corbusier’s 1927 plan of the Cite Mondial in Geneva was heavily critiqued by the rational modernists but was used extensively by a
countries and has been abused as a form group of internationalists as a precedent for the variations of the Mondial comissioned by Otlet, which were never realised

that only benefits MNCs. Though they
have proved unsuccessful they continue
to flourish because of the temporary
benefits that they provide and were “An island presents many advantages. It is isolated, which might be very desirable. It has no
even recommended as a solution by railway approach, it is true; but railway approaches are bound to become railway reproach-
the United Nations Development es, and, with increased facilities from sea and air, land access seems of less importance.”
Programme. The International Zone Sir Aston Webb10
can be understood as a ‘first world
mutant’ of the Economic Processing
Zone (EPZ). Selective infrastructural “A new site should be found and a new city should be devised…Now, the City for a League
networks that provide the same sense of Nations must, above all things, be capable of growth; its planning dynamic rather than
of detachment from the city replace static…and the site for the League of Nations is also the inevitable spot for the meeting-place
the compound walls of the EPZ. These of the constructional activities of the human race: Art, Science and Industry… This new
networks connect the zone directly to City will thus become the headquarters of inter-civic as well as inter-national interests... In
the international airport, avoiding its Bacon’s New Atlantis there is a nearer approach to an international centre in the description
immediate surroundings. Its mono- of the college…”
economic function and the networks Professor Patrick Abercrombie11

make it a transient space rather than a
functioning part of the city. Security is
a way to ensure control and protection
over the activity and habitation of the
zone. The international zone in The
Hague is an enclave. It comes from
a historical tradition of the way that
internationalism has been conceived in
architecture and has its precedents in
two projects, the World City designed
by Le Corbusier and commissioned by
Paul Otlet in 1927 and the more recent
International Humanitarian City in

Predecessors to the International

In December 1919, the Architectural
Review (AR) published an issue to
commemorate the victory of the allies in
World War I. The League of Nations was
born in the wake of this war to create
an institution that would be a space for
negotiation to thwart any future wars.
This issue of the AR collates opinions
from British architects about the
importance of the site for the League of
Nations (LN).

It was within this climate of
internationalism that Paul Otlet
commissioned Le Corbusier to design
the World City. Otlet was interested
in the organisation of knowledge that
included methods and technology to
organise knowledge, organisations of
knowledge and spaces that organised
knowledge and all these interests
coalesced in the Cité Mondial or
World City.12 He had already tested
some of these ideas in the Palais
Mondial, Mundaneum that he had
constructed in Brussels but when
Geneva was chosen as the host city for
the LN, Otlet decided to create another
version of the Mundaneum there – the
Paul Otlet’s sketch : Species of the Mundaneum - a scalar device to organise and disseminate knowledge Mundaneum Civitas. He believed that
internationalism could not be achieved
only within the domain of diplomacy
and it needed a knowledge consort.
In his essay A Union of International
Associations: A World Centre he explains a
successful international project needed

30000 international lobbyists
300 nongovernmental organisations
atleast 20 intergovernmental organisations and a supranational

The BeNeLux region is one of the most powerful geopolitical centres
in the world

Projecting the BeNeLux regional strategy as a spine with three nodes of a post-national constellation


Den Haag CS


PrinsClaus Plein

The new centre as a multi-scalar political space where local,
national, regional, European and International powers create a
post-national forum

The Existing buildings in the new centre


Town hall



Ministry of Security and Justice

Classification of atrium by movement
a - edge
b - tunnel
c - courtyard

Reading the new centre as a series of internal atria - Portmanisation of The Hague

“The whole ideological scheme for the Mundaneum, as explained by Otlet, is an illusion,
a vain wish, a utopia; a music of the future about which the only certainty is that if it does
happen, it will happen differently than Otlet and Le Corbusier have imagined.”
Karel Teige

a space that collects the intellectual drawn on assumptions that the site Renaissance cities as obvious in their
work created by different individual would be donated by Switzerland and it geometrical plans, axes and ideas of
associations dispersed across the would be granted extraterritorial status centrality. The World City as an enclave
world.13 The main components of the so that it was beyond the jurisdiction is the model that is used in the design
World City were a space of work which of the local canton. An International of the International Humanitarian City
was the headquarters of the Union of Bank would finance it, the structure (IHC) in Dubai and the international
International Associations, a space for of which had been proposed by Paul zone in The Hague but its use as a
intellectual activity like debates, lecture Otlet to Geneva and in principle had precedent needs to be questioned in
and discussions, a space of knowledge been agreed upon. As an international a city because it fragments and de-
diffusion in a form of a university and a city it was to be connected with an politicises it.
spaces of public dissemination through international airport and international
a museum, library and archives. railway terminal, which would urbanise An alternative regional strategy
the canton that it was planned in, and
A drawing by Otlet called ‘Species connect it internationally. It would The city as an autonomous unit
Mundaneum’ shows the World City function primarily for an international becomes irrelevant when one is talking
as a part of a larger network of spatial knowledge society. Sited close to the about a multi-scalar political system.
devices that can be scattered around the independent LN and International Instead of The Hague as the centre
world.14 He imagined national, regional Labour Union, it would function to of international justice competing
and civic versions of the Mundaneum house the tourists and the workers of with Brussels to attract international
and different ways of broadcasting these organisations. It would not be organisations, what if one would read
knowledge. Reading another essay incorrect to summarise the description The Hague-Brussels-Luxembourg
written by Otlet, Organisations of Society given by Le Corbusier for the World as a single site of international,
of Nations it becomes apparent that City as - an enclave subsidised by the supranational and national politics?
it was not the World City that was government of Switzerland, granted legal In the early period of his tenure as
at the centre of Otlet’s system but a and financial exemptions to function as city architect Maarten instinctively
supranational organisation to which all a knowledge society and an incentive to attempted to create a transnational
nation states relinquished sovereignty attract international finance and was centre in the city that responded to
and this organisation governed the well connected to international travel Brussels. In the 1990s Europe was
entire world.15 Otlet’s world city was infrastructure. The World City was developing a spatial planning policy
predicated on a global government. influenced by a famous proposal across administrative boundaries.
that was extensively circulated In most probability the economic
Le Corbusier’s, In Defense of Architecture, around that time and heavily praised crises in 2007 put a hold to many of
written in response to Karel Teige’s in the AR mentioned above - “A the transnational strategic plans that
criticism of his proposal, attempts to World Centre of Communication” were underway. The European policy
provide a justification of the ideological, by Hendrik.C.Anderson. These chronologically followed a policy that
economic, juridical and urban strategy international cities were designed from was developed in the BeNeLux union,
behind the project.16 The project is a legacy of capital cities and the ideal Benelux 1996: Espace de Coopération.

“The IHC is a non-profit, independent free zone authority mandated by the Government
of Dubai to facilitate international humanitarian aid by: Supplying leading humanitarian
actors with world-class logistics infrastructure, value-added services and administrative
support, Providing a platform for UN, NPO and regional staff to strengthen aid responses
and Facilitating coordination and collaboration among all aid providers.”
Website - International Humanitarian City17

The void
(public programme)

The Private


Inner facade+
Outer facade+

Generic diagrams showing the internal atrium and its relationships with the city


b c

Envelop Atrium Tunnel Atrium Courtyard Atrium

Parallel to the main public movement Perpendicular to the main public Clear sense of space and privacy


Specific diagrams showing the three types of internal atria in the new centre

The void
(public programme)

b c

The Private b c
a programme
Envelop Atrium Tunnel Atrium Courtyard Atrium

Parallel to the main public movement Perpendicular to the main public Clear sense of space and privacy
Envelop Atrium Tunnel Atrium Courtyard Atrium

Parallel to the main public movement Perpendicular to the main public Clear sense of space and privacy




Inner facade+
Outer facade+

Generic diagrams showing the inverse - the external atrium and its relationship with the city


a Street
b c

b c




Specific diagrams showing the transformation of the three types of atria to create external atria

International Criminal Court (new)

Town Hall Existing

New construction

Building gutted at ground level
Ministry of Justice (above)

The transformation of a series of internal atria to a single external urban atrium in the new centre

The change in the urban massing with the introduction of the connecting external atrium across different buildings

equality across this region. The spine The external atrium structures the new
Deuxième Esquisse de Structure Benelux.
could be formed parallel to the high- centre as an urban block. The periphery
Bruxelles 18 This was a revision of the
speed rail network and The Hague of the block is a wall of autonomous
first spatial structural policy developed
would have to resume the plans for institutions. The interior of the block,
for the union in 1986. The BeNeLux
the Fyra that it had shelved. The Den traditionally a private space, is inverted
union was formed in 1944, and is
Haag Centraal station would be a node to become a part of the pedestrian
considered an important model for the
along the spine. This would allow for a walkway through the site and it exposes
creation of the European Union (EU).
new urban strategy for the New Centre the innards of the institutions and
The treaty for the BeNeLux union was
and even possibly resolve many of the connects them. The phenomenal
re-ratified in 2008 for an indefinite
urban issues plaguing the site. This boundaries traced by the urban block
time and the union was renamed the
strategy reclaims the New Centre as an suggest a separation of the atrium from
BeNeLux Economic union. The union
important site within the logic of flux the city though it is part of the daily
has created a strong transnational
and interconnection across the territory. walk through the city. The atrium is
urban relationship between the three
invisible as an architectural form in
countries, by standardising their legal
Inversion of the Atria the city and it is represented through
and financial framework and through
experience. This relationship between
a well-connected railway network.
Currently the New Centre is a collection the atrium and the city is akin to Lina
Luxembourg is the judicial seat of
of architectural buildings that have no Bo Bardi’s Teatro Oficino in São Paulo,
the European Union; Belgium the
relationship with each other. Each of where the theatre is envisaged as a street
legislative and executive seat while
the buildings on site has a public atrium parallel to the main thoroughfare of the
The Hague is the international centre
within it. The description of Atlanta city. The disconnection and connection
for security and justice. The BeNeLux
in Koolhaas’ essay could be used to between the theatre and the city is
territory is a powerful geopolitical
describe The Hague and coincidently choreographed and deliberate to ensure
space. The three countries between
both cities have an important civic that there is a relationship between the
them have approximately 380 NGOs19
institution in the city designed by passer-by and the performance but the
and an approximate count of 32 IGOs
Richard Meier’s practice. difference between the spaces is clearly
(headquarters and branches). Brussels
articulated and registered.
is home to around 30,000 international
By propositionally transposing the
lobbyists, second to Washington D.C.20
ICC into the new centre and inverting This external atrium is the space
the numerous internal atria to a single demarcated for the post-national forum
Schmitt was aware of this relationship
external atrium that connects the and it will be inhabited by NGOs.
and his strategic plans involved the
different institutions – the existing Legally the forum will be defined as
complete South Randstad. This is
town hall and ministry of justice and a public body. This is a very specific
inadequate. Instead of planning each of
the ICC - a spatial entity that is urban term to the Netherlands and it has two
the three cities, The Hague, Brussels and
and architectural, internal and external meanings, an administrative division
Luxembourg City as separate entities
is suggested. The atrium connects the and a group of organisations performing
they should be planned together as
lobbies of the institutions across the a specific function. The finance ministry
a spine with each of these cities as a
site. Currently the lobbies resemble classifies NGOs as a public body.22 The
node along this spine. This spine falls
the scene from Il Conformista, a film term can be used to classify the post-
across different administrative borders
by Bernado Bertolucci where the national forum as both a collection of
and the BeNeLux union is possibly the
grandeur and power of the institution NGOs and an administrative division in
only supranational organisation that
is represented in the vastness and the city – this prevents the NGOs being
could do so because of the size of the
emptiness of its lobby, which is made read as a single form and allows the
three countries, the existing cultural
even more obvious by centring a single individual organisations to retain their
and social relationship between the
receptionist in the void to stress the autonomy. The space is owned by the
people and because of the economic
scale of the space. government and rented independently

“The new atrium became a replica as inclusive as downtown itself, an ersatz downtown.
Downtown’s buildings are no longer complementary; they don’t need each other; they
become hostile; they compete. Downtown disintegrates into multiple downtowns, a cluster of
autonomies. With atriums as their private mini centres, buildings no longer depend on specific
locations. They can be anywhere.”
Rem Koolhaas 21

to each organisation. Tenancy is a form The new centre had no single strong identity, and
of membership giving each organisation was a field of disconnected buildings that had no
relationship with the city. The massing of the new
equal rights irrespective of size. centre is now conceived as an urban block where
the external perimeter is a series of autonomous

The economic rationale that allows the
forum to be part of the centre relies The site changes from a grid of buildings to an urban block

on the density of NGOs and their
characteristic small size. By reducing the
floor area needed by these organisations The void of the block merges with the pedestrian
routes that were common through the site
to a minimum and creating ample
shared resources that are used in the
city and the institutions for other
purposes allows them to remain in the
centre at market value. It invigorates the It retains its pedestrian quality that allows it to become
part of the city daily routine

ground plane of the city because of its
fine grain texture and at the same time The three lobbies of the institutions - The town
allows for the creation of autonomous hall, the ministry of justice, and the ICC are pulled
towards the peiphery of the buildings and extended
towers above that have typical plans across the void of the block generating a singular
central entity
to organise the larger institutions. The
excessive fragmentation of the ground
plan also deters speculation in the
The external atrium as a space of condensation and

area leaving more consistent rents over connection between different institutions creating the

longer periods of time.
The main circulation routes through the block
merge with the external atrium - creating an
To transpose the ICC into the new ambivalent condition between inside and outside,
architecture and urbanism
centre, the institution needs to be
redefined and an urban function for it
needs to be generated. Diagrams describing the change in the urban strat-
egy used for the new centre
The external atrium is developed around the existing
pedestrian paths

Section end notes

5 Vincent Van Roosen, ‘Introduction’, Civil Art: Urban Essays by Paul Otlet, < 20 Ian Traynor, ‘30,000 Lobbyists and Counting: Is Brus-
Spaces as Architectural Task, (NAi, 1996) internationalorg00otle#page/112/mode/2up>, [accessed on sels under Corporate way?’, The Guardian, 8 May 2014
6 In September 2014, I interviewed Floris Alkemade who 7 April 2015], pp 112-130 21 Rem Koolhaas, ‘Atlanta’, S,M,L,XL, (Monacelli press,
was a partner at OMA and in charge of the studies and 14 Charles Van den Heuvel, ‘Architectures of Global 1995) pg. 843
projects done in The Hague. A transcription of the inter- Knowledge: Architecture and the World Wide Web’, 22 Ministry of Finance, <
view can be found in the appendix. Volume, Nr. 15, pp 48-53 ernance/37147034.pdf >, [accessed on 10 April 2015]
7 The Hague International, (Theo Deutinger Architects), 15 W. Boyd Rayward (ed), ‘The Organisation of the Society
< of Nations’, International Organisation and Dissemina-
international/#txt>, [accessed on 15 April 2015] tion of Knowledge: Essays by Paul Otlet, <https://archive.
8 ‘Integral Area Protection - The Hague International org/stream/internationalorg00otle#page/112/mode/2up>,
Zone’, (The Hague Security Delta, 2014) <https://www. [accessed on 7 April 2015], pp 136-148>, [accessed 16 Le Corbusier, ‘In Defense of Architecture’ in Opposi-
on 13 April 2015] tions Reader, translated by Nancy Bray and others, (Prince-
9 Keller Eastering, ‘Zones’, Extrastatecraft: The Power of ton Architectural Press, 1993) pp 599-613
Infrastructure Space, (Verso, 2014), pp. 25 - 71 17 Global Hub’, (International Humanitarian City, 2003),
10 Sir Aston Webb, ‘A World Centre, The Home for the <>, [accessed on 13
League of Nations: A suggestion’, The Architectural Review, April 2015]
December 1919, pg 136 18 Thiemo W. Eser, ‘The Emergence of Trans Border
11 Sir Patrick Abercrombie, ‘Planning a City for the Spatial Development Policies for EU member states: The
League of Nations’, The Architectural Review, December case of Luxembourg’, <
1919, pg 154 forschung/TAURUS/Diskussionspapiere/diskussionspa-
12 W. Boyd Rayward, ‘Knowledge Organisation and a New pier4.pdf>, [accessed on 16 April 2015]
World Polity: The rise and fall and rise of the ideas of Paul 19 abey Hailu Senbeta , ‘Nongovernmental organisation
Otlet’, Transnational Association, January-February 2003 and development in Benelux countries’ , 2003, Depart-
13 W. Boyd Rayward (ed), ‘The Union of Interna- ment of science and population and development studies,
tional Associations: A World Centre’, International Catholic University Louvain.
Organisation and Dissemination of Knowledge:

Rendering by Hammer Larsen Schmitt, a Danish architectural
practice for the new building for the International Criminal
Court currently being built in The Hague showing the salle des
pas perdues.
THE court:
a space of jurisprudence?
“Even the best national states in the world cannot control these global problems. We need
something bigger but the big countries do not like something bigger. So no one is designing
something bigger and I think that is the challenge…We need to create the community around
the court and that for me is one of the challenges”
Luis Moreno Ocampo 23

The International Criminal Court is a
hybrid of two architectural legacies; the
IGO type developed between 1927-1954
and the law court building type. The
IGO type was developed by Corbusier
and is typified in the series: The Palace
of the League of Nations, The Union of 1927: Palace of the League of Nations,

International Associations in the Cité
Mondial, The Palace of the Soviets, the
UN headquarters in New York and in
the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. On
studying this series it is not incorrect
Competition entry Palace of the League of Nations
to surmise that the architecture of the
UN headquarters is the apotheosis of 1929: Cite Mondial - UIA, Geneva

this type and has determined the way
that intergovernmental organisations
have been designed since. The
terminology that defines the IGO type
is constituency, extraterritoriality, and
representation and determines the
massing of the building and the way
that it is staged in the city. The law court
building type has two main phases of 1931: Palace of the Soviets, Moscow

development. The first is during the late
Competition entry Palace of the Soviets
19th century when the law court as a
functional building was separated from
the town hall and market place and
defined as an independent institution
and the second is during the 1990s
when there was a surge of law courts 1946: United Nations headquarters NY

designed across the developed world.
The main development in these two
phases was the segmentation of the plan
as a spatial translation of due process.
In addition to these two legacies, being
an international building it is designed
with the more recently created rules
for security of international buildings
formed through the Standard Embassy
1958: UNESCO headquarters Paris
Design rules for American embassies. Scheme United Nations headquarters

Studying the five criteria in the Evolution of the IGO type - a series developed by Le Corbusier from 1927 - 1954 - the tower and the theatre

architecture of the ICC it becomes
evident that there is a greater focus on
security and extraterritoriality at the
expense of constituency. ‘Constituency’
is the criterion that determines the
relationship between the institution
and the city. It changes the definition
of the institution from a space where
law is practiced to a space where law is
established or a space of jurisprudence.
On including it within the current
diagram of the ICC it transforms the
relationships between the different parts
of the court and the way that it staged in
the city.

Constituency and the relationship
of the ICC to the city

The Charter of the UN, section 71,
overtly discusses the Economic
and Social Council’s collaboration
with specialised agencies and non-
governmental organisations for its
work. In the report presented by the
Secretary-General there are details of a
building for delegations and specialised
agencies in the Northeast corner of the
site created for hosting these agencies or
their liaison offices.

The building for agencies and
delegations was never built because
they did not acquire funding for it.
As seen in the report there was an
A page from the UN report submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly in 1946 describing the need for a building for the
educated forecast of a constituency constituents that will be craeted by the institution in the future

that will be formed. Though the
UN of 1946 believed them to be the
multiple agencies that will be created
by them for different issues, like the “Buildings for Delegations and Specialised Agencies: These two groups must enter into the
International Labour Union, Food planning now, although their requirements, are still far from being precisely determined.
and Agriculture Organisation, World There combined personnel will, in time, will equal that of a much enlarged secretariat.”
Health Organisation, UNESCO and Report by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly UN
World Bank, in recent years the UN
has acknowledged the collaboration
between these agencies (and the many awarded numerous NGOs a consultative Extraterritoriality and economics
that have been created since) and NGOs, status. The Hague has seen an increase
giving NGOs a consultative status and of approximately 84% of NGOs since the An intergovernmental organisation
thus formalising them as part of its formation of the ICC. The architecture is architecturally not defined by
organisational structure. In 1946, 41 of the ICC does not take this into or identified with any one nation.
NGOs had a consultative status with the consideration. This constituency This autonomy was legally framed
UN, in 1992 the number was 700 and is functionally critical for the ICC by exempting the institution from
today it is 3400.24 The ICC has a similar and its role in the establishment of civic jurisdiction. Technically this
article within its constitution and has international law. metaphorical removal of a piece

Drawing of the legal and property agreements between NewYork City
and the United Nations






1 NATO/TNO campus
2 Dune landscape protecting the city from North winds
3 Site given to the ICC by the city, used to house military barracks
4 Military barracks converted to a museum and parking
5 Hubertus tunnel a detour to leave the surface in front of the ICC decongested

The informal agreement between the ICC and The Hague
Drawing of the legal and property agreements between NewYork City
The legal framework and its influence on the site for the UN The translation of the extraterritoriality framework created by the UN in The Hague for the ICC
and the United Nations


of land from its context is called the neighbouring town of Wassenaar, congestion and security barriers that
extraterritoriality. With the United 2
which is currently being developed as a its assembly creates in the city and also
Nations a legal precedent was created 3
diplomatic centre around the American because it holds prime real estate value
for defining extraterritoriality of IGOs embassy that is being relocated there. As which generates no money for the city.
in an urban context. The institution 4 land values skyrocket, the stipulations The US has also recently denied visas
was provided a site as a gift from of extraterritoriality create a negative to diplomats who were invited to the
the Rockefeller foundation, which is economic value for any site that is given UN because of its own national policies
exempted, from federal gift tax and from to an IGO and this in turns determines as a way to pressure the institution. In
local legal jurisdiction. It is considered the site that the host city gifts the IGO. addition the institution is reliant on
an international territory answering the city’s emergency services, police
only to international law. The site is Extraterritoriality by definition and infrastructure. The extraterritorial
exempted from property tax and belongs is neither negative nor positive. framework created for an IGO is weak
NATO/TNO campus to the United Nations. Exemptions from national or local and in its current form works to the
2 Dune landscape protecting the city from North winds
Extraterritoriality post-actively extends
3 Site given to the ICC by the city, used to house military barracks jurisdiction can create tax havens and disadvantage of the IGO. The framework
4 Military barracks converted to a museum and parking
to all future agencies and sites that the drug corridors as likely as they create
5 Hubertus tunnel a detour to leave the surface in front of the ICC decongested of extraterritoriality can be renegotiated
UN may acquire and was awarded
The informal agreement between the ICC and The Hague
international justice institutions and through the economic value generated
to the new UN towers designed by floating abortion clinics.26 For the ICC by the constituency created by the IGO.
Fumihiko Maki recently. The spatial- it is important because it has to be able
legal framework of the ICC is modelled to establish international law that is not Dual Representation and the role
on the UN as evident in the Headquarters influenced by the Dutch government or of the theatre
Agreement between the International the European Union. Extraterritoriality
Criminal Court and the Host State. The is believed to protect the institution NY City amended zoning regulations
ICC is exempted from civil jurisdiction, from intimidation and control. Looking around the UN HQ, giving it exclusive
its property is excluded from tax and it back at the UN, we can trace a shift in rights to the waterfront in front of the
is a non-transferable property belonging the relationship between U.S.A., NY City building and restricting the heights of
to the institution. This legal framework and the UN. In the 1940s Robert Moses buildings around it. In a way it created
inevitably impacts the location of the used the UN as an anchor in the urban a representational bubble around
site given to the institution by the renewal project that he planned for the the institution, separating it from its
Netherlands. The military site gifted area, which was a slum and the city gave context. Symbolically it appears as if the
to the ICC has no economic value for the institution numerous concessions institution is universal and impartial;
the city currently and can be used by amending their zoning laws. In independent of the host country;
to create an urban renewal project recent years there have been talks of creating a new world order. This is
that connects it to the coast and to moving the UN out of NY because of the the myth that has shadowed the siting

Competition entry Palace of the Soviets: Boris Iofan

Visual Representation of the United Nations Headquarters fture projection

Dual Representation - the vertical landmark vs the horizontal functional connector - Boris Iofan proposal
for the palace of the Soviets in 1930 and a sketch in the UN report submitted by the Secretary-General to the
General Assembly


Classificatory Devices

Court room

Salle des pas perdues


Salle des pas perdues
waiting room - threshold

George Edmund Street Richard Rogers Denton Corker Marshall
Courts of Justice 1890 Courts of Law 1998 Courts of Civil Justice 2007
London Bordeaux Manchester

Casestudies of law court building types showing the segmentation of the plan, the classificatory devices and the salle des pas
perdues as a threshold

Classificatory devices in the whole building


Non judiciary

Richard Rogers Design Partnership
European Court of Human Rights 1995
Strasbourg France

Classificatory devices from the legacy of law courts

Courtrooms and press Meeting Offices

2 16 535

Theatre Administration

Distance = security/independence

European Court of Human Rights designed by Richard Rogers Partnership in Stasbourg in 1995 showing the international
court as a hybrid between the IGO type and the law court building type

city. This invisibility is counterintuitive
to creating a city that is the centre
of international law as The Hague is
attempting to do.


The plan of the ICC is a diagram of
security of due process rooted in a
legacy of law court buildings. Though
there are no detail plans available for
the institution and the architectural
competition brief is confidential to only
the competitors, the description of the
plans narrated below is an educated
assumption created after studying
low resolution presentation drawings,
renderings of the new premises, a
history of law court architecture, visiting
Rendering of the proposed Supreme Court in The Hague by Claus Kaan Architects (proposed) - the
reduction of meaning of the salle des pas perdues as a lobby rather than a threshold the existing premises of the court and
watching documentaries about the court
and its organisational structure.
“Studies can be made to bring about a better relationship between the United Nations
headquarters and the central area of New York City, around Grand Central station...It may There are six medium rise towers
be possible, at some future time, to create an even more impressive pedestrian approach to the sitting on a plinth of two levels. Five of
United Nations site, so that the buildings and the river beyond may be seen in a single view the six towers are rectangular in plan,
from the very heart of the city” have the same dimensions and are the
Report by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly UN 27 office blocks, one for each department
of the institution. The sixth, square in
plan is the courtroom tower with four
courtrooms stacked above each other
and staging of IGOs across the world. resulted in the ‘parti’ of the theatre and with chambers for the judges. The
But this is only half of the story – the the tower that is most recognisable in lower level of the horizontal podium
upper half. On the ground the UN had the UN but has been the essence of the houses the salle des pas perdues with
a completely different ambition as seen IGO type even since. public access into the courtrooms. The
in the report by the Secretary-General upper level has meeting rooms that
submitted to the General Assembly in The urban modulations around the connect the different departments,
1946 talking about future projection of UN were created to articulate the the press gallery and interview rooms.
the institution in the city. difference between these two forms of The courtroom has three exits - one
representation. In The Hague similar along each face - for the judge, defence
In reality the UN has dual modulations do the opposite and the and prosecution. The fourth face has
representation – a vertical chosen site and the urban strategies for a glass wall that connects the public
administration that was symbolised as it make the institution invisible. The gallery and the courtroom visually. This
an international civil service away from site faces the North Sea shielded by a circulation logic continues through the
its context and a horizontal assembly landscape of dunes, the main road in building and outside even into the site
that connects the organisation to the front of the institution is decongested plan ensuring that the four actors never
city – and sets it as part of its context. through a bypass tunnel a kilometre cross. The defence exits north, closest
The dual representation originates west of the site and all the land around to the Sheveningen prison. To the east,
in functionalism, which allows the the institution is owned by the military there is parking for the employees of
institution to use its functional so zoning and heights are controlled by the Court and the public enter from the
components to create a formal language, the government. The disconnection of south. The west exit is for the judges.
thus avoiding any single context or the institution from the city, the railway This segregation of users into different
style and creating a universal form station and in the skyline the ICC circulation patterns in the plan is what
of representation. This functionalism renders the institution invisible in the Kenneth Frampton calls ‘circulatory

devices’ and he identified it in the plans internalised in the court. By reading system. This gives a new functional role
of the League of Nations in proposals the ICC as a space where international to the salle des pas perdues as a workshop
submitted by both Hannes Meyer and law is practiced it justifies the non- of justice or a space where the protocols
Le Corbusier and is common across functional reduction of the salle des of international law are negotiated. The
all law court buildings and IGOs.28 pas perdues to a lobby because the salle des pas perdues of the ICC can be
In the site plan proposed for the ICC court has no direct relationship with the space inhabited by the constituency
it is possible to read a security lock the inhabitants of The Hague or the created by the court.
between the site and the interior of Netherlands. But the ICC does create
the court. There is a moat all around its own constituency that plays an Security
the building and the rest of the site important role in the functioning of
is undulated and raised sometimes the institution and redefines the ICC Since the last two decades, public and
up to 3m creating a landscaped wall as a space where international law is civic buildings are seen as targets of
between the building and the city. established - a space of jurisprudence terrorism and this is changing the way
The ICC houses the complete legal – as part of a larger international legal that they are designed in the city. The
system-prosecutor, defence, witness
rehabilitation and protection services,
judges and administration – something
that is typically seen across a city rather
than a single building. The segmentation
of the plan become more critical in Internal Courtyards

this condition to ensure due process
and avoid contamination of evidence,
witnesses or judge.29

Traditionally law courts have three
main segments, in increasing order
More Secure area

of formality and privacy they are, the
salle des pas perdues, the courtroom
and the offices. In a civic court the
salle des pas perdues has many roles. It
connects the court to the city, it is a
space where lawyers meet their clients
and await judgement, it is the space
where the press and the public discuss
and interpret the proceedings that they
have witnessed and finally it is the space
through which the defendant when
exonerated, leaves the court to go back
into the city. This structure of the law
court as a civic institution is to create a
public, based on shared values, which
are the established laws of the country.
The salle des pas perdues is the threshold
between the courtroom and the city.

In the ICC the salle des pas perdues is
designed as a lobby. The scaling up of
the civic court into an international
court transformed the organisational
structure of the court. The salle des
pas perdues is no longer where all the
different actors meet, wait or discuss.
The court has separate pressrooms, and
witnesses, prosecution and defence are Police and Justice centre by XDGA - the linear bands is a diagram of security creating a series of internal courtyards

Defence Defendant

Meeting Room

Registry ICC staff

meeting rooms Witness

Court Room

Judges Chambers Office of the Prosecutor Prosecutor

Viewing Gallery


Security Check


Office levels, separated by

First level: interdepartmental
collaboration and press Pr


Ground level: Salle des pas

perdues and courtrooms access

Organisational diagram of the institution and its architecture as a translation of this organisational structure

0 20

The diagram of the court is a variation of
the theatre where there is a back stage, Section through the courtroom
Office audience box, and multiple
court towerside exits to
ensure that particpants are kept
separate at all times.
Office court tower
Diagrams of the ICC fromofthe
ICC from the analysis Public
Sections that Sections that
access below
correspond correspond
to the diagramsto the diagrams

Public access below
The courthouse sits within the urban Schematic Sections of existing ICC

fabric protected by a series of buffers

that work in plan and section. Access
to the building courthouse
is different for sits within the urban Schematic Sections of existing ICC

fabric protected by a series of buffers

different particpants.
that work in plan and section. Access
to the building is different for Office Office court tower court tower
different particpants.

Public access below
Public access below

40 floors
Classificatory device around the building Diagrammatic section through the building
The courthouse The courthouse
sits within the sits within the urban
urban Schematic
Schematic Sections Sections
of existing ICC of existing ICC
fabric protected by aprotected by a series of buffers
series of buffers
that work in plan work in planAccess
section. and section. Access
to the buildingto
isthe building
different foris different for
different particpants.
different particpants.

4 floors


0s ace

50 sp

38 ork
Law Court

00 ts
45 our
2 floors


m gr

sq ro

00 ic P
40 ubl
0 20

The diagram of the court is a variation of
the theatre where there is a back stage, Existing programme of the ICC and
Section through the courtroom 0 20 dimensions of floor space
audience box, and multiple side exits to
ensure that particpants device around the court room
areofkept Section through the court room Programmatic division in the ICC
The diagram the court is a variation of
separate at allthe
theatre where there is a back stage, Section through the courtroom
audience box, and multiple side exits to
Diagrams theparticpants are kept
proposed International Criminal Court currently constructed in The Hague
separate at all times.

0 20 0 20

guidelines for international buildings is vetted embassy architects that designed The biggest threat to the city is not

The diagram ofThethediagram
court is of
a variation
the courtofis a variation of

the theatre where there is a back stage, Section through the courtroom
the theatre where there is a back stage,
determined by the ‘Standard Embassy
audience box, and multiple side exits to
audience box, and multiple side exits to the American embassy in Bangladesh,
Section through the courtroom security but the de-urbanisation of

ensure that particpants are kept

Design’ (SED) protocol designed for
ensure that particpants are kept
separate at all times.
separate at all times.
Greece and Thailand. The embassy in it. Cities are important because of
American Embassies after a series of Bangladesh was the prototype for the the milieu that they create –density,
40 floors

terrible bombings in East Africa in the SED protocol.31 competition, sociability, antagonism, all
1990s.30 The rules mimic the way that qualities that make the city what they
40 floors


castles were fortified. The building is The history of urban design in cities are. Security is essentially a balance

setback from the road; vehicles are parallels the history of urban security. of maintaining or exacerbating these

4 floors


seen as a security threat. There are Securing the city from disease created qualities while attempting to reduce
sq e
40 floors 6m500 pac


a minimum of two layers of barriers the hygienist movement that led to threat.32 The only way to completely end
3 38 orks
4 0floors

between the building and the road, the planning the city functionally. Jane threat is to end these qualities - removal
0 ts

sq e

0 ac
45 our

40 floors
50 p

first is the setback, second is a moat Jacobs blamed modernist functional of people from the city or removal of

38 ork
2 floors



around the building. Sometimes there planning for creating dangerous political institutions from the city. The

2 floors qm ogra

00 ts

45 our

is a compound wall between the moat streetscape and supported medium threat to political institutions needs
s r

00 ic P

40 ubl


and the edge of the site. The building density mixed use cities. The oil crises to be far more realistic – the myth of


m gr
23 36

is sunk into the site to create a higher shiftedExisting
the focus toofenergy security insecurity is a useful political spin but it

sq ro

programme the ICC and
0s ace m
m m

00 ic P
4 floors

50 sp 6

dimensions of floor space
38 ork 3
40 ubl


ground around to increase visibility of and cities were planned to decrease might just prove to be detrimental in the
0s ace


50 sp

38 ork

the surroundings from within and to the consumption of energy
programmewithin a and long run.

Existing of the ICC
00 ts

dimensions of floor space
45 our

secure the building from vibrations of city with greater emphasis on public
00 ts

45 our

blasts. The lower levels of the building transport and alternative transport - The For the Police and Justice Centre
2 floors



2 floors




are solid to prevent injury when glass Netherlands is exemplary in this regard. in Zurich, XDGA uses a diagram of
m g

sq ro

m gr
00 ic P


sq ro
40 ubl


00 ic P

shatters because of a bomb blast. In all these cases the city was planned parallel-disconnected ribbons creating

40 ubl

The Organisation for Prohibition of to protect
Existingits people.
programme of The
the ICCcurrent
and form particular internal spaces that are
dimensions of floor spaceprogramme of the ICC and
Chemical Weapons, headquartered in of urban security portrays
dimensions of floorpeople
space as distanced from the city and people.
The Hague was the first in the new dangerous to the city and its institutions. Coop HimmelB(l)au Architects use
series of highly secured IGO buildings Now the city is protected from its the section as a way to protect critical
designed by KMW Architecture, an people. parts of the new European Bank being
American practice that is one of the constructed in Frankfurt from the

Programme Statement Total Area Comments Number of Total
for the New ICC Staff

Offices of the court
Office of the President of the court 1,080 60
Office of Vice President 720 40
Office of the second vice president 720 40
Total 2,520

Judicial Division
18 judges with their offices 1,944 5 staff per judge 110
Total 1,944

Semi Autonomous offices
Office for public counsel for victims 180 10
Office for public counsel for defense 900 10
Trust fund 180 10
Total 1,260

Office of the Prosecutor 3,600 250
Deputy Prosecutor
Total 3,600

Administration and finance staff 2,700 150
Conference and general staff 2,700 150
Department of public information 4,500 Space for different
stations, bloggers,
information desk, press
Department of external relations 180 10
Department of outreach 360 20
Total 10,440

Delegates Press Invited
Assembly Bureau working room (20 people) 360 216 180 756 20
Security council + icc committee 360 216 180 756 20
General assembly - 122 members 1,800 900 900 3,600 122
Committee on budget and finance 157.5 90 247.5 10
Committee on trust fund 171 90 261 10
Oversight Commitee on the premises 171 90 261 10
Lounges 6,300 4,500 4,500 15,300
Conference rooms 540 540 40
Total 21,721.5

Secretariat of the Office for the general assembly 1,800 100
Total 1,800

Court Rooms 4 court rooms 3,600 108 72 3,780
Press Rooms and interview rooms 180 22.5 202.5
Total 3,982.5

Specialised agencies offices for 100 NGOs 40,500 20 people per NGO
Conference rooms
Project Rooms
Seminar rooms
Total 40,500

Auxiliary Library 15,300
Exhibition Halls

Total 15,300


New Programme statement added to the existing programme of the International Criminal Court (highlighted in yellow)

0s ace

0s ace

50 sp

50 sp
38 ork

38 ork


00 ts

00 ts

45 our

45 our





m gr
m g
sq ro

sq ro
00 ic P

00 ic P
40 ubl

40 ubl

Existing programme of the ICC Alternative programme for the salle
des pas perdues

qm as
0s s p
00 de
40 alle

Assembly Press Library Assembly Press Library

Office Office
Judicial Courts Prosecutor Judicial Courts Prosecutor

Defense Defense

Proximity and connection diagram
0s ace

0s ace

Tower and theatre
50 sp

50 sp
38 ork

38 ork


00 ts

00 ts

45 our

45 our




m gr

m gr
sq ro

sq ro
00 ic P

00 ic P
40 ubl

40 ubl

Assembly Library Press NGOs
Prosecutor Courts


The tower and the theatre
qm as
0s s p
00 de
40 alle

The shift in balance of the private and public programme on introduction of new programme into the institution Proximity diagrams and shifting relationship between the differ-
ent departments in the ICC

1 2 3

Assembly Press Library Assembly Press Library


Office Office
Judicial Courts Prosecutor Judicial Courts Prosecutor

Defense Defense

2 3
Proximity and connection diagram
Tower and theatre
Courts, Assembly, Library Press and NGOs

Typical Plan Large Span Fine Grain dense

Structural difference


Assembly Library Press NGOs
Prosecutor Courts


The tower and the theatre

Assembly Library Press NGOs
Prosecutor Courts


ICC ICC+state State + NGOs

Management Diagram

Landmark Connection with the city
Vertical representation Functional representation

Diagrams showing the structural, management and representational differences in the spaces

urban fabric. The Bank of England, skyline that is currently being formed.
has a wall that almost fortress like The external atrium is formed by ap-
keeps the interior safe but still forms propriating the lobbies and the salle des
a relationship with the city. This pas perdues of the three institutions – the
concentric diagram, layered in plan and town hall, the ministry of justice and the
section, is one that can be used while ICC- and connecting them across the
designing the ICC in the new centre. urban space in-between the institutions.
The external atrium becomes the post-
The Alternative Diagram for the national forum – a threshold between
institution in the new centre institutions. This forum is inhabited by
NGOs because of their malleable juris-
Including the constituency (NGOs) diction and their relationship both with
in the programmatic structure of the the city and with the ICC.
institution generates an alternative
diagram for the ICC that has two The organisation of NGOs within the
parts – one for the practice of law and forum determines its architecture.
the other as a space of jurisprudence.
This dichotomy is legible in the formal
organisation of the institution and
resonates with the dual representation Section Endnotes
of the IGO type, where the practice
of law is defined as the tower that 23 Luis Moreno Ocampo, One on One interview with
Katherine Keating, <
is detached and uninfluenced by its katherine-keating/luis-moreno-syria_b_5191565.html>,
context while the space of jurisprudence [accessed on 13 April 2015]
is the theatre/forum that connects the 24 <>, [accessed on 15
April 2015]
institution with the city and creates an 25 ‘Acquisition of the site’, The Permanent Headquarters of
urban role for it. the United Nations, Report by the Secretary-General to the
General Assembly, pg. 6
26 Anselm Franke and others, ‘Islands the Geography of
A new programme statement is gener- Extraterritoriality’, Archis, 2003
ated with 40000 square meters of space 27 ‘Projections’, The Permanent Headquarters of the United
Nations, Report by the Secretary-General to the General
added to create a place for NGOs to
Assembly, pg. 80
work with the institution. This inclu- 28 Kenneth Frampton, ‘The Humanist versus The Utilitar-
sion shifts the balance of the institution ian Ideal’, Architectural Design, March 1968
29 Linda Mulcahy, Legal Architecture: Justice, Due Process
from a top heavy one to one that is both
and Place of Law, (Routledge, 2010, Kindle edition)
extraterritorial and contextual. This 30 Jane C. Loeffler, The Architecture of Diplomacy: Building
figure is based on a study of the pro- America’s embassies, (Princeton Architectural Press, 1998),
pp 172- 178
gramme statement created for the UN
31 ibid
and through a survey of the NGOs that 32 Thomas Osborne and Nikolas Rose, ‘Governing cities:
are present in the city that work with notes on the spatialisation of virtue’, Environment and
Planning D: Society and Space, 1999, Volume 17, pp. 737-760
the ICC. This added space is interpreted
as the public threshold of the institu-
tion and it redefines the current defunct
salle des pas perdues as a workshop. It
allows for workspaces for NGOs along
with shared facilities that are used by
the institution, NGOs and other practi-
tioners of international law, which are
the library, the archives and an assembly

Specifically on the site (the New Centre),
the administration of the court is pro-
jected as a landmark tower that creates
recognition of the court within the city’s

A detail of the massing of the ICC proposed in the new centre - the building is designed as a series of linear bands. These bands allow
different areas of the court to become secure from the city in plan. The massing model on the left is cut at the atrium level and shows the
relationship between the private spaces of the ICC (in red) and the salle des pas perdues that merges into the external atrium. The massing
model on the right shows the entire massing of the building where sectionally the building is layered to house vulnerable departments
which have the maximum setback from the city and the atrium

An image of the Bertha Von Suttner multi-tenant office building
built by The Hague to house nongovernmental organisations. The
building currently holds 29 organisations
THE forum:
organisational form

Edet Belzberg, director of the The main focus of this programme that registrars, judges and staff of
documentary Watchers of the sky narrates is the impact and transformation of different international courts can come
the story of Raphael Lemkin, a Polish cities by war, security and international together in a space to share and create
émigré to the United States whose justice. Regular participants in the knowledge about different courts, their
family was annihilated by the Nazis. gallery are researchers from Forensic working methods and the protocols that
Lemkin invented the term genocide. Architecture and The Hague institute they use.
The movie shows Lemkin as a ‘one of Global Justice. Both the institutes
man lobbyist company’ in the early began in 2011. The Hague Institute of These are some examples of the NGOs
sessions of United Nations, persuading Global Justice is supported by the city that can inhabit the post-national
ambassadors to the UN to ratify the of The Hague and the Dutch national forum and are currently present in
legal framework that he developed government. Forensic Architecture The Hague. These institutions have
for the term genocide.33 Though the is funded by the European Research two main functional parts, an office
UN’s General Assembly accepted the Council Grant up to 2015 and is also space and a space for dissemination
Genocide Convention 1948 it was only a partner at Stroom for ‘See you in of knowledge, which may be in the
in 1995 that an international court The Hague’ along with Amnesty form of lectures, exhibitions, book
interpreted it for the first time. International Netherlands and The launch or demonstration. Currently
Coalition for the International Criminal they are scattered around the city;
Stroom Den Haag, a privately funded Court (CICC). CICC is an organisation they create discrete spaces where
research institute organised a series of with 2500 NGOs members that began they share knowledge with a selected
events, discussions and publications with 25 members who worked with group. This does not create a forum
around a research theme that they governments for establishing the ICC. because adversarial relationships
called ‘See you in The Hague.’ This are a prerequisite of a forum. This
theme began in 2013 and was spurred Forensic architecture has also done definition of a forum is derived from
by the city’s development of the work with Project on International interpretations of the fora in ancient
international zone and will continue till Courts and Tribunals (PICT). PICT Athens where the staging of civic
2016. As described on their website, it was founded by Cesare P.R. Romano, institutions around the agora was meant
is a “multifaceted narrative about the a law professor at Loyola Law School, to create a space of confrontation and
ambitions and reality of The Hague LA and a ‘pioneer of the study of negotiation between different points of
as International City of Peace and international adjudication.’35 PICT has view resulting in a democratic society.
Justice.”34 been working on a project to create
a network of international courts so

type of people employed in different organisations 2010 Distribution of the jobs by type of organisation 2010 Increase in employment by organisation type 2010

Embassies Intergovernmental
Dutch citizens Organisations 2010
employed in high positions

Dutch citizens 2007
employed in middle/low positions
International citizens European 2004
employed in high positions Organisations

International citizens Nongovernmental






employed in middle/low positions Organisations








NGOs employ the maximum number of Dutch people NGOs make up 13% of the international industry in employment NGOs have grown 84% in the last decade in the city

Statistics about the nongovernmental organisations in The Hague

policies and standards enforced by
government_ they rely on complete
transparency of the way that they and
their finances are organised. Their
formal incorporation within the system
is what gives them legitimacy to act
on behalf of a voting public who had
not voted for them.36 They gain their
legitimacy by creating public work
and publishing them as papers, books
and through documentaries. They are
only able to apply for funding because
they are formally organised. Second,
they are already being organised
in cities. The Hague, Boston, San
Francisco and many other cities have
recognised their importance in civil
society and as economic entities.37 For
cities, NGOs are similar to the creative
industry and are treated as a way to
renew run down neighbourhoods that
have low rents. Lastly without a larger
organisational structure NGOs, private
research institutes et al often become
the victims of arbitrary government
decisions that are usually short-lived
and reactionary but affects the work of
the organisations.38
Team/Department space
Plan of Centraal Beheer by Herman Hertzberger - creating a central communal space supported by groups of individual work spaces
The mayor of The Hague, Jozias Van
Shared Space
Aartsen, acknowledged the importance
Though this version of a society is A misguided fear of organising NGOs of NGOs in the city in a speech in
dismissed as ideal it has been the is that structure would destroy the way May 2012.39 Around 2500 people
model by which city centres have been that they work. First, It is important to are directly employed in NGOs and
designed for centuries and is visible dispel with a misunderstanding around approximately a total of 18000 by all
across Europe. To enable a post-national NGOs and independent research international organisations. Another
forum an adversarial organisational institutes. These organisations are 18000 are employed indirectly because
strategy between the inhabitants of the not informal, they would not be able of the services that they provide to
forum, in this case NGOs will have to be to function the way that they do, if this international sector. The city has
created. they were. To be able to question the provided two facilities in the city for

“The town square consisted of a large open space crossed diagonally by the main street of
Athens. At the sides of the agora were temples and buildings called stoas, sheds with an open
side onto the agora. A number of activities occurred simultaneously in the agora - commerce,
religious rituals, casual hanging out. In the open space there was also a rectangular law
court surrounded by a low wall, so that citizens going about their business or making
an offering to the gods could also follow the progress of justice…A democracy supposes
people can consider views other than their own. This was Aristode’s notion in the Politics.
He thought the awareness of difference occurs only in cities, since the very city is formed
by synoikismos, a drawing together of different families and tribes, of competing economic
interests, of natives with foreigners.”
Richard Sennett in Spaces of Democracy

NGOs; The Bertha Van Suttner building
and the Zeestraat building, both near
the Peace Palace. They describe these
buildings as made for measure for
NGOs with research and meeting spaces
provided on a sharing basis. Twenty-nine
NGOs have their offices in the Bertha
Van Suttner building. Though there
are no plans available of the building,
a search into multi-tenant buildings
for not-for-profit (NPOs) organisations
resulted in a series of documents by
foundations, governments and real
estate organisations. These documents
discuss the importance of providing
multi-tenant facilities for NPOs as a way
to retain them in cites. Synthesising
these documents, the main arguments
for these buildings is that NPOs/NGOs
are extremely vulnerable to inconsistent
rents and it often the reason that they
leave cities for suburbs or towns. All
the papers recommend multi-tenant
buildings, close to public transport
and fitted with shared amenities like
meeting spaces and spaces for larger
gatherings. Many of these reports were
American and dated between 2002-2003,
around the time of the crash of the
dotcom bubble when many office spaces
lay vacant. A more essential question
that is hinted at in these reports but
not adequately answered is how these
buildings allows NGOs to be read as
independent autonomous entities.
NGOs are wary of proximity to other
NGOs, large foundations or corporations
because it affects the way that they are
funded and also casts a doubt on their
associations and political leanings.

It can be surmised that the multi-
tenant building is not an ideal form
for a forum. It is interiorised, it reads
as a single organisation – where
the differences between individual
NGOs is illegible. It relies on creating
a community. It creates a space of
consensus because the tenants come
together only because they are affiliated
in some way. The multi-tenant building
comes from a history of two workspace
Amsterdam Orphanage by Aldo Van Eyck - an example cited by Maki of group form. The individual spaces are read in volume, the organi- precedents - Central Beheer by Herman
sation and in plan. The composition of the orphanage is non-central
Hertzberger and the Scandinavian

Saka-ide artificial ground by Masato Otaka- an example of density and multiple ownership of group form

“What makes these architects exciting - and maybe what makes them Asian - is that they do
not avoid, like their European contemporaries, the central issue of quantity - the masses - that
had propelled the prewar modernists... European cousins refine, rediscover the small scale;
metabolist Asians - conscious of, even inspired by, demographic pressure - imagine other
richer, more spontaneous, freer ways or organising congestion.”
Rem Koolhaas discussing Japanese architecture exploration in the 1960s 40

Airlines (SAS) Office by Niels Torp. In provide the two organisational elements be arranged within the space such that
Central Beheer the organisation of the – the cell and the spine, in these they generate a threshold that allows
office is based on small work groups and examples the elements are a slave to them to create a space of confrontation.
hence the plan is divided into modules an ownership model that depends on These decisions are not mutually
that are separated from each other. In the creation of a community. The plans exclusive but inform each other.
the combi-plan for SAS, the employees define the centrality of the community
were stake holders of the company and surrounded by cells that are clustered Fumihiko Maki in the 1960s developed
this is the basis of the plan – a central together. The post-national forum is ideas about group form with Masato
‘public’ spine with common facilities not a community but a collection or a Otaka, which is published in his
connect wings of private cells. Both group of objects. To create an adversarial Investigations in Collective Form. Maki was
these examples were developed as a way organisational strategy, each NGO has primarily interested in developing ideas
to reconcile the duality of an individual to be read as an autonomous entity with about group form over compositional
in a collective. Though the precedents equal ownership rights and they have to form (academic) or mega-form (inclining

Section x

Section y

The Total Theatre Strelka Institute

Marina Abramovic Institute

Casa da Musica

Wyly Theatre

Teatro Oficino

A study of a series of theatres that can be called the political theatre and were commissioned by theatre directors and performance artists.
The series: The Total Theatre by Walter Gropius comussioned by Piscator, Strelka Institute in Moscow by WowHaus Architects, Marina
Abramovic Institute by OMA, Teatro Oficino by Lina Bo Bardi, Casa da Musica by OMA and Wyly Theatre by OMA. The theatre have in
common. This drawing shows the changing section of the theatre that created a relationship between the auditorium and the city. In tra-
ditional theatres the auditorium is an internal space that disassociates from the city to create a strong sense of fiction but in the political
theatre - the auditorium is used as a device that creates a strong sense of connection between the performance and reality.

The performance and the city
Reciprocal view
Relationship to passersby

Pedestrian Bridge about 6m above level of Strelka

The political theatre as a part of the city. The city is scene for the theatre and it allows for seredipitous encounters between passer-by and
the the performance

Linear Stage with galleries supported
off one wall like a shelf

Sliding Dome



Garden Glass wall

ge s
ta ve
r s el
e lik ion
ea sh
th - t
g es ec
lin e
in ak S
ok r tic Plan at Level 2.3 and Level 4.8
lo ce a
er en m
ov udi ram
A iag

Sliding Dome

Section x

Centre Stage Sliding dome
Centre stage - open to elements
Wind, Sunlight Rain - part of the production

Garden Glass wall
Opens to the outside Garden Glass wall
The city and light become part of the production

Principle Form

Tunnel - connecting Siding Dome

Lina Bo Bardi’s Teatro Oficino as an example of a political theatre. The theatre has a tunnel like form and light is an important part of
the design of the space - it allows the audience to see each other and there is a constant sense of brutal realitythat can only be generated
by sunlight. There are two sources of direct light, The Curtain wall that connects a third of the linear stage with the rest of the city and a
sliding central dome that allows the linear stage to be top lit. This subtle difference along the length creates fragments that are unique in
their relationship between the audience and the performance

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au au
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ag st

en or
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ith a

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as ap

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The Linear Stage divided into types of spaces through varying
audience relationships and scenography

Connections with the city

Building extent

Reciprocal view

View from upper gallery


A possible sequence of encounters between the audience and between the audience and the performance

“What is essentially similar becomes essentially different through repetition instead of what
is but arbitrarily different becoming arbitrarily similar through addition. (A universal city –
molesting sickness)”
Aldo Van Eyck

towards rapid obsolescence). Maki’s for greater density while retaining the many directions and from different
investigations define four qualities quality of individual buildings. His levels. Teatro Oficino is one example
of a group form – boundary of the project, the Amsterdam Orphanage was among a series of theatres that
entire group, the articulation of the used as Maki as an example of group attempted to create an audience. The
unit, threshold/in-between space and form. In the project Van Eyck created theatre attempts to create a connection
linkage. The linkage can be a building, modules of two different scales that between the city and the performance
infrastructure or even an ephemeral were to house the living quarters and space, multiple relationships between
quality that creates a connection the shared spaces. For Van Eyck the the audience and the performers and
between the elements in the group and orphanage was an architectural and an interaction between spectators. It is a
between the group and the rest of the urban strategy. The definition of each of space of action rather than a space of
city. The text is important because it the modules by corner columns and a viewing where spectators are forced to
deals with two important issues while domed roof allows each space to be read be aware of themselves and others.
planning a space that is a collection of as a unit and together these units create
individual, autonomous units. The first a larger urban form. The planning of the The Organising strategy for an
is density and the second is multiple orphanage was deliberately non-central adversarial forum
ownership of a single space. He cites to dissolve hierarchy between different
two examples that should be studied spaces. Van Eyck was interested in Thresholds: Using Maki’s rules for
further - The Saka-ide Artificial Ground reconciling mythical antonyms that he creating a group form each NGO is
by Masato Otaka and the Orphanage believed plagued architecture of the designed to have an independent space.
in Amsterdam by Aldo Van Eyck. Both time including the disciplinary divisions This autonomy is read in the difference
these examples create forms that are between architecture and urbanism. in the floor plane demarcated for each
between architecture and urban form. NGO, the bounding columns and the
The traditional forum is predicated independent roof structure. A difference
Saka-ide artificial ground is the on a central clearing surrounded by in ownership is clearly traced in the
creation of a housing superstructure institutions. This form is scaled down plans and can be read with the changing
on an artificial ground of concrete that within a building as can be seen within column form, grid spacing and roof
is detached from the ground plane. the atrium of the town hall. The central heights. This extends not only to the
The housing superstructure is made space is homogenous and neutral. NGOs but also in the clear marking
up of austere homes for salt workers The description of the Greek agora of thresholds between the different
and is a dense grid of multi-level by Richard Sennett formally depicts organisations. This clear distinction of
housing surrounded by gardens. The this centrality. In contradiction to this thresholds is structured within a space
structure of the real and the artificial way of viewing confrontation, is the that in first glance appear smooth and
ground are separate from each other. political theatre. The political theatre infinite.
The detachment from the ground is a series of architectural experiments
allows the ground-void to be used in theatre design that began in the Fragments: The lack of centrality gener-
to create additional programme as a early 20th century. One of the examples ates a space that can never be read in
way to maintain the site and was to of this type of theatre is the Teatro totality. One is always within a piece of
be developed into parking or other Oficino designed by Lina Bo Bardi for the space and reads the immediate sur-
programmes when required. The Zé Celso. The theatre is designed as a roundings as a series of vertical layers
workers own the artificial ground while street; sections along this street create through their own position. Every NGO
the ground itself belongs to the city. different configurations of the way that has a unique relationship with their
the audience and the performer relate to neighbours and the form of the forum
In Steps towards a Configurative each other. The linear variation breaks and this relationship is marked by a
Discipline, published in August 1962 the hierarchy of any one individual series of steps that create a local focus.
in Forum, Aldo Van Eyck writes about space, creating multiple overlaying views
the ‘aesthetics of numbers’ and the and aural stimuli. The audience moves Ambivalence: The forum is appropriates
need for a way to configure cities with along the theatre and the performance both private lobbies of institutions and
the use of an organisational structure and can view the performance from the public thoroughfare of the city. The

“An ideological surplus... make everyone uncomfortable and edgy... everybody has to justify
their own existence to themselves... cacophony...”
Alvin Boyarsky describing the pedagogical intent of the redesigned unit system at the AA 41

Typical organisation of space to create a homogenous public Post-National organisation to create an adversarial forum
lack of walls between the forum and
the city (the boundary is articulated by
the roof plane and the buidings around
it) creates an ambiguous relationship
between the forum and the city. Its semi
open quality allows it to become a space
that can be inhabited informally by a
variety of users that cannot be architec-
turally organised into space like activists,
protesters, and the homeless.
The grid of columns create a clearing in the centre Multiple grids create a space with numerous centralities

Light: A theatre is designed as a black
box – there is no room for natural light
and if required it is introduced artificial-
ly. In contradiction, in a political theatre,
light plays a role of a framing device that
allows the audience and the performer
to identify one another other clearly.
It imparts brutal realism to the perfor-
mance and the context. Being an atrium
Equal spacing of beams flood the space with light equally Unequal spacing of beams choreographed with pockets of light light is an important participant in the
create different experiences of space
forum – and is used to choreograph
different spaces. The auditorium lies in
the gutted lobby below the ministry of
justice shadowing it, while the court-
room is bathed in indirect light from the
judge’s courtyard. The varying height
A seamless section along the space creates a singular volume Volumes change with floor and roof plane fragmenting the space
of the roof and changing beam depths
creates a space that is differentially lit
Diagram describing the transformation of the architectural elements within the atrium to create an adversarial forum across its section with dark corners for
private discussions and large brightly lit
spaces for public meetings.

Section Endnotes

33 Movie <>, [accessed on 6 April 36 Jurgen Habermas, The Structural Transformations of the 41 Irene Sunwoo, ‘From the well-laid table to the market-
2015]; Raphael Lemkin defined genocide as a crime Public Sphere, (M.I.T. Press, 1991), pp 155-170 place: The Architectural Association unit system”, Grey
that was taking place within a countries territory by the 37 Third sector New England, ‘A Multi-Tenant Centre for Room. In this article Irene Sunwoo is discussing Alvin
government of the country. Till his definition of the word, Boston Area Non-Profits and Community Organisations’, Boyarsky’s redesign of the unit system at the AA. It it is a
international organisations only recognised war crimes 2002; Rod Hsiao and others, ‘A Market for a San Francisco much smaller scale than the forum but as a case study of a
and crimes against humanity as crimes that nations per- Nonprofit Multi-Tenant Project’, 2001 pedagogical project it offers a compelling reason to organ-
formed on other people and countries beyond their own 38 Jason Burke, ‘Indian Government Ordered to Unblock ize conflict and difference to create a critical audience
territory. Crimes committed within a national territory by Greenpeace Funds’, The Guardian, 21 January 2015
its leaders were not punishable. 39 NGO network generates increased value, Municipality
34 ‘See you in The Hague’, (Stroom Den Haag), <http:// Den Haag, < tional-the-hague/to/NGO-network-generates-increasing-
id=7944751>, [accessed on 14 April 2015] added-value.htm>, [accessed on 10 April 2015]
35 Francesco Sebregondi in conversation with Cesare 40 Rem Koolhaas, ‘Singapore Songlines: Portrait of a
P.R. Romano, ‘The Architecture of International Justice’, Potemkin Metropolis’, S,M,L,XL, (Monacelli press, 1995)
Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth, (Sternberg Press pg 1044
and Forensic Architecture, 2014), pg. 317

Existing buildings on the site

Proposed construction - The ICC and gutting the
ground floor of the ministry of justice

Site plan showing the existing and proposed new construction of the site. The ICC replaces De Resident - a mixed use development. The
ground floor of the ministry of justice is gutted upto 20m allowing for a creation of a lobby, auditorum and extension into the external

public but owned by Private programme spaces - owned by the
institution institutions
external attrium - private - only accessible to the institution
public - owned by the
city and NGOs

Site plan showing a series of thresholds in the external atrium. The atrium is an extension of lobbies and the salle des pas perdues of the
town hall, ministry of justice and the ICC - parts of the atrium are completely public and parts are inaccessible. The thresholds demarcate

Public circulation Public access to institution Private access to institution

Site plan showing circulation paths through the external atrium. The atrium is part of the main thoroughfare through the site. The public
access to all the institutions is through the atrium - in effect the atrium is the shared space between the institutions, city and NGOs.
Private access to the institutions are from the main roads surrounding the site.

Size of NGO - Smal <10 peoplel

African Foundation of International Law International Association of Prosecutors
Type: Publication Type: Umbrella and justice
Africa Legal Aid Netherlands red Cross
Type: Publication and discussions Type: Projects
Global Human Rights Defense
Type: Education The Hague Institute of Global Justice
Type: Research
Institute for historical justice and reconcilation
Type: Education and justice The Hague institute of internationalisation of law
Type: Review, watch and research
Microjustice for all
Type: Legal expertise The Hague Security Delta
Type: Products and innovation
Institute for historical justice and reconcilation
Type: Education and justice

Size of NGO - Medium 10-50 people

Association for Defence Counsel Institute for International Criminal Investigations
Type: Review and Watch Type: legal expertise

Centre for International Legal Cooperation International Judicial Institute
Type: Legal expertise Type: Research

European Judicial Network International Justice Mission
Type: Umbrella and research Type: Review and Watch

International Centre for Couter Terrorism Justitia et Pax
Type: Research Type: Education

Size of NGO - Large >50 people

The Hague Justice Portal
Amnesty International Type: Research
Type: Research and advocacy

Coalition for the International Criminal Court
Type: Umbrella Organisation, review and Watch

Type of NGO and programme and proximity International Criminal Court

Umbrella Organisations - networking courtrooms

Programme: Workspaces, Meeting rooms
Proximity: Forum and Grand Hall

Publication archives

Programme: Workspaces, Reprograhics, Display rooms, Meeting Rooms
Proximity: Grand Hall

Programme: Workspaces, project Rooms
Proximity: Archives, Library


Programme: Workspaces, Display Rooms
Proximity: Court Rooms, Archives
Town Hall

Programme: Workspaces, Lecture Halls
Proximity: Auditorium, Library

Legal Expertise
Programme: Workspaces, Meeting rooms Assembly

Proximity: Court room, library

Ministry of Justice

Directory of NGOs that work with the ICC and on issues relevant to justice and security. The NGOs are organised depending on their
type which is listed above.

The three distinct grids - the vertical large space tri-grid for the ICC, the square uniform grid for the space owned by the city and the
horizontal large span grid for the gutted lobby of the ministry of justice. These grids are broken with the smaller grids of different NGOs.

Zoom of an area in the plan where all the grids meet each other.
The column type becomes a navigational and ownership tool
within the space





Site plan showing the four linkages - the courtroom, the library and archives, exhibition hall and auditorium around which the different
NGOs are organised depending on their type

1. Courtroom with the judge’s courtyard in the
rear. (image: rendering of proposal for the ICC by
Larsen Hammer Schmitt Architects)

2. Library and archives in the atrium of the ICC.
(image: Seattle Public Libary by OMA)

3. Exhibition hall in the extension of the town-
hall. (image: Neuegallerie)

4. Auditorium in the gutted ground floor of the
ministry of justice (image: Wyly theatre OMA)





Site plan showing the different ways that NGOs cluster creating a variety of spaces within the forum

1. NGOs clustered to create a discreet
corner threshold in front of the library for

2. NGOs clustered to create an open rec-
tangular space at the threshold of the ICC
for interviews and public meetings

3. NGOs clustered to generate a debating
theatre near the auditorium

4. NGOs clustered to create a space for
viewing near the exhibition hall

12 +0.0 11 +1.25

+1.25 +0.75
+2.25 +1.5

+2.0m +1.5m

2 3 4



1.50 0.75


0.5 1.25



0.75 +2.0 +1.25

0.5 -0.75

2.75 +2.0

+2.0 +1.25 +1.25 1.25

+1.25 +0.5
+2.0 +2.75

0.75 1.5

+2.0 +1.25

2.0 1.25
+0.5 +1.25

+2.0 +1.25


+1.25 +2.0 +1.25 +0.5



1. Judge’s courtyard
2. Defence entrance
3. Courtroom
4. Prosecutor and court administration entrance
5. Archives
6. Reading Room and library
7. Secure entrance to the ICC
8. Informal threshold of the ICC
9. Lift lobby for the ministry of justice
10. Auditorium
11. Exhibition hall owned by the townhall (city)
12. The existing atrium of the town hall



Small <10 Medium upto 50 Large upto 100
2 level 3 level 3 level
Meeting room and workspace foyer, meeting rooms and workspace foyer, meeting rooms and workspace

Typical plans for the three sizes of the NGOs.

Salle des pas perdues of the International Criminal Court

Zoom of the section showing the different volumes when the three institutions meet

Section through the interntional criminal court and the Ministry of Justice to show the overall scale of the forum within the buildings

external atrium by the city gutted ground below the ministry of justice

THE post-civic condition:
civic 2.0

The International Criminal Court a transition between a traditional form of an institution in the city.
has transformed The Hague. the civic and the generation of a new type of
Though it is a unique institution civic (civic 2.0)? What is the role of the centre (the traditional
and renders The Hague as a special site of the civic forum) in the post-civic
case, the phenomenon seen in the The post-national forum is predicated condition?
city is perceived across the world. on identification and organisation of
Multinational corporations, embassies, a post-national constituency and this In The Hague, the research identified
nongovernmental organisations generates an urban function for both a tension in the city while planning
and branches of intergovernmental civic and international institutions. The for international institutions. The
organisations create a ‘post-national research attempted to identify NGOs as transnational centre versus the
constellation’ that is ubiquitous. Geneva, a constituency of this public but they international zone provided two distinct
Nairobi, Singapore, New Delhi, Lyon are not the only one. Research institutes, ways that a city could treat international
are some examples of cities that are foundations, cultural institutes like the institutions. The former created a larger
seeing an increase in this constellation. Goethe institute and the British Council, geopolitical entity while the latter was
It challenges existing ideas of civic lobbyists, policy institutes are all part of more traditional point of view that saw
institutions and their role in a city. this constituency. This constituency is a the city as an autonomous entity with a
This is evident in recently designed powerful geopolitical agent. Designing defined boundary exterior to its regional
and built civic institutions, like the post-national fora in cities is urgent and national context.
Stadskantoor in Rotterdam by OMA and and a way to organise a public that
the Supreme Court in The Hague by complements the changing political A post-civic condition questions the idea
Claus Kaan Architecten. Both projects structure – one where international, of the latter especially in the context of
have a public threshold that has become national and local politics is intimately Europe where clear boundaries between
a nostalgic gesture and that which has intertwined. nations have been systematically
two translations - the commercial space dismantled in the last decade. The centre
or the lobby. With the Stadskantoor How are civic institutions being transformed of the city in this research acquires
this threshold is being reprogrammed in this post-civic condition? a new role within this transnational
as a commercial space while the salle planning strategy because of its existing
des pas perdues in the Supreme Court A slow mutation of civic institutions infrastructural network. The BeNeLux
is a generic lobby viewed from the city is already evident in cities. The Hague territory is a powerful geopolitical space.
through a windowpane rather than introduced a space in its town hall that The three cities – The Hague, Brussels
a space that creates a public. This is responds to international organisations and Luxembourg City have between
because, the composition of the post- and has hosted exhibitions and them 380 NGOs, an approximate count
national city does not have a relationship conferences to bridge the relationship of 32 IGOs (headquarters and branches),
with traditional civic institutions. The between who is traditionally considered a transnational institution (the BeNeLux
contemporary city demands a post- the public of the city and the growing union) and a supranational institution
national forum centred on a relationship international constituency. The town (The EU). Brussels is home to around
between civic and international hall is not the only civic institution that 30,000 international lobbyists, second
institutions. To Create a relationship has had to respond to this constellation. to Washington D.C. The post-national
between these institutions, the way that With universal jurisdiction, states are constellation has transformed the region
these institutions generate an urban able to try criminals irrespective of and the relationship between the cities
function needs to be reframed within where the crime was committed or the in the region.
this contemporary condition. nationality of the perpetrator – this
transforms the role of a national court How can cities negotiate between their local,
To acknowledge and identify this condition and demands a different way of thinking national and post-national contexts?
should it be called post-civic, which suggests about how the law court is structured as


From Palace to Headquarters: Le Corbusier and the IGO type 77

Transnational Urbanism: Interview with Floris Alkemade 80

Bibliography 82

from palace to headquarters:
le corbusier and the igo type

Typological transformation of the organisation3, the quotidian The projection of an urban form specific
bureaucratic offices for the secretariat to the functioning of an international
1927: The League of Nations announces and the intermittent representative organisation has been in gestation
an international architectural theatre for the assembly. Le Corbusier for a while since the formalisation of
competition for a ‘Palace’ for the spends the next 20 years developing the Permanent Court of Arbitration,
institution. The word, ‘palace’ is an and honing this diagram, tweaking The Hague. Hendrik Christian
archaic word to use even in this time, elements with each iteration, developing Anderson proposes ‘The Centre for
one from the past associated with a vocabulary that is unique to World Communications’ in 1904 as an
territory and empires. The United international organisations. abstract city form for internationalism.
Nations prefers to use ‘permanent K.P.C Bazel, the ‘World Capital for
headquarters’ to describe its institution Extraterritoriality and the urban form internationalism’ in The Hague in 1905,
and the International Criminal Court, 1928: Paul Otlet meets Le Corbusier and and H.P.Berlage, revives this project
‘permanent premises’ suggestive of commissions him as the architect for the in 1915 as the ‘Pantheon of Mankind’.
temporality1, growth and multiplicity. Cité Mondiale. Otlet is a Belgian lawyer, Hendrik Christian Anderson’s proposal
The journey from a palace to a in his 20s in the 1890s when Belgium is the most detailed and is published by
headquarter traces the development and the Netherlands are hosting grand the Architectural Review in December
of the three fundamental attributes; international events, the world fair and 1919 in its special issue on peace
extraterritoriality, the political the first peace conference. These events commemoration as a suggestion of an
spectacle and representation that have inspire his vision for internationalism urban form to accompany the League
individually been developed and come and come together in his later ideas for of Nations and it becomes the point of
together to define the architectural type the Cité Mondiale. In 1910, Paul Otlet departure for the Cité Mondiale.5
of an international organisation. The founded the Union of International
United Nations headquarters is the last Associations with Henri Fontaine. When The world city projects are strategies for
attempt in architecture where these the League of Nations, is formalised a transnational urban future; abstract
qualities were investigated, questioned at the Peace Conference in Paris that geometric forms that can be repeated
or reinvented, fossilising them as dogma. ended WWI, he formulates the statute and stand out in their formal perfection
for the organisation.4 The constitution of from their surrounding organic
A young Le Corbusier and Pierre the League of Nations includes a role for urban fabric. They are deliberately
Jenneret, along with 377 other international associations. Years later, the designed with a disregard for context
participants submit an entry for the United Nations continues the tradition and specificity suggesting universal
competition. The jury disqualifies began with the League of Nations internationalism. They are planned
their proposal, they did not submit and extends the role for international around varied modes of communication
original drawings but copies. The associations and organisations within infrastructure, located close to but
vocal protests across the European its constitution, creating a new category, distant enough from functioning second
modernist architectural community, non-governmental organisations. The tiered cities. Programmatically they
America is not a member state of architectural competition for the Palace house headquarters for international
the League of Nations, against the of the League of Nations provides an associations and businesses, centres
decision of the jury encourages Le ideal moment for the Cité Mondiale. of knowledge with facilities for
Corbusier.2 He extensively documents The city is the cultural consort to the collaboration and discussions between
his submission and his ideas, earning a diplomatic agenda of the League of a highly mobile knowledge society.
reputation as an architectural ‘expert’ Nations. It will have a world cultural The essence of a world city is its
on internationalism. His design centre. a world library, a world museum, extraterritoriality, a legal definition
for the League of Nations is a clear a world archive, the world headquarters that enables a new order between
diagram of the relationship between for international associations and a people culturally, intellectually and
the two main functional components world university. politically and is the foundation

for an international public sphere. ‘classificatory device’ reveals as much as secretariat. New York provides the most
Practically, constructing and populating it hides. fortuitous environment, Le Corbusier is
an entire city for the sole function of surrounded by architectural experiments
internationalism is counterintuitive In the Palace of the League of Nations, for the most efficacious workspaces.
to urban practice and the world cities it is Hannes Meyer’s proposal that Extraterritoriality is morphed into
become part of urban history along grasps the essence of the international clauses of urban regulations, zoning
with the ideal cities envisioned in the organisation as a political theatre restrictions, jurisdiction delineation
Renaissance. and different users are guided along and property rights,12 beginning a legal
different paths from the entrance of precedent that accompanies the siting of
Architectural history unfortunately the complex while they are still in international organisations.
focuses on the drama around the their automobiles. Within Meyer’s
Mundaneum, the cultural centre of the proposal circulation is a crude device It could only be in New York that the
Cite Mondiale, and the metaphysical with numerous elevators and brutal resolution of the secretariat as a tower
symbolic quality of the Ziggurat like segmentation of the architectural could become a reality so effortlessly
form, exposing its possible origin, a mass.8 In the Palace of the Soviets, and elegantly. The representation
rendering by Hugh Ferriss for The Corbusier develops circulation into of the international organisations
Solomon Reconstruction project by a three dimensional architectural is resolved, the vertical office tower
Helme and Corbett in New York.6 language weaving through the building juxtaposed by the horizontal political
Within this master plan there is a small at multiple levels, connecting and theatre, the bureaucratic machine
building for the headquarters of the disconnecting effortlessly. Le Corbusier against the diplomatic machine, the
Union of International Associations, does not win the competition, but is ‘automonument’13 balanced against the
an opportunity for Le Corbusier to more accepting of this loss, restricting ‘symbolic’. The two elements create the
continue to develop the forms that he his comments to a sarcastic observation tension of representation. Le Corbusier
set out to articulate with the League of of the political character of Russia, leaves the project, and Wallace Harrison
Nations and that would soon evolve into “reasonable in the context of the is left to rationalise the construction
his project for the Palace of the Soviets. times...”9 of the project to meet technical and
bureaucratic requirements.
The Political Spectacle and the Representation: the tower and the
classificatory device theatre Parenthesis: In 1931, Boris Iofan,
a Ukrainian architect wins the
1931: Le Corbusier is invited to submit 1946: Le Corbusier is nominated by competition for the Palace of the Soviets
a proposal for the Palace of the Soviets, the French government as a delegate predating the theatre-tower of the
the communist response to the League in an international team to design the United Nations headquarters by two
of Nations. The Palace of the Soviets is headquarters of the United Nations decades. The building is continuously
a political meeting place, a theatre in in New York; after World War 2 the revised till Stalin’s death and then it
essence. The programme is a series of United States of America was much dies with its patron.
auditoriums and public platforms for stronger than any of its European allies.
the mega spectacle of the Soviet State. Le Corbusier, with the team develops Acceptance of the Precedent
Le Corbusier develops some of the ideas a brief for the United Nations HQ.
that he began with the assembly in the The programme requires a site that 1958: The UNESCO headquarters in
League of Nations without the burden is three times the size of Manhattan.10 Paris is completed by an international
of the office building, allowing him to A gift by the Rockefeller foundation, architectural team, Pier Luigi Nervi,
focus on the structural organisation allows the UN to buy a property by Bernard Zehrfuss and Marcel Breuer
of the political theatre. The design is a the East River which is 17 times under the guidance of an international
linear arrangement of meeting spaces smaller than the area Le Corbusier modernist architectural committee. Le
closed on either end by formal assembly envisages. This demands a change to Corbusier is involved as the French
halls with their ancillary functions. The the programme, architectural language delegate, similar to his role in the
parti is a series of inclined planes that and to ‘extraterritoriality’ to suit a dense United Nations but in this project he
moves different actors, ‘ambassadors, urban environment. Corbusier alters plays a very subdued role. The complex
foreign press, Soviet press, actors and the programme, using the opportunity is a Y shaped secretariat, that reflects the
spectators’ within the large complex to improvise his proposals for ‘The urban form of Place de Fontenoy and
to their rightful places within the Radiant city’: a vertical city that would a crafted concrete conference theatre
theatrical spectacle.7 Circulation, as a tame and order Manhattan.11 This gives connected by the ‘salle pas de perdus’
him an opportunity to resolve the and the main entrance lobby of the

organisation. The Y shape is a functional
diagram that expresses the different
departments of the organisation.14

The UNESCO headquarters does not
further develop any of the elements
that define the type for international
organisations, preferring to focus on
the structural and material language
of the architecture. It is an important
milestone within the discipline as it
overtly accepts the series that began
with the League of Nations and
ended with the UN headquarters
as a precedent for international


1 Le Corbusier, UN Headquarters, (New York, Lotus Press,
1947), p.1
2 Le Corbusier, L’ouevre Complète 1910-1929, (Zurich, Les
éditions d’architecture, 1964)
3 Kenneth Frampton, ‘The Humanitarian vs the Utilitarian
Ideal’, Architectural Design, March 1968
4 Le Corbusier, ‘In Defense of Architecture’ in Oppositions
Reader, (Princeton Press, 1993)
5 Stanislaus Von Moos, ‘Public Buildings’, Elements of a
6 ibid
7 Kenneth Frampton, ‘Le Corbusier’s designs for the
League of Nations, the Centrosoyus and the Palace of the
Soviets 1926 - 1931’ in Essays, ed by H. Allen Brooks
8 Kenneth Frampton, ‘The Humanitarian vs the Utilitarian
Ideal’, Architectural Design, March 1968
9 Stanislaus Von Moos, ‘Public Buildings’, Elements of a
10 Le Corbusier, UN Headquarters, (New York, Lotus Press,
1947), p.10
11 Le Corbusier, L’ouevre Complète 1938 - 1946, (Zurich, Les
éditions d’architecture, 1964)
12 Report to the general assembly of the United Nations
by the secretary-general on the Permanent Headquarters
of the United Nations (United Nations Publications 1947)
13 Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York, (New York, Mona-
celli, 1978)
14 Francoise Choay, ‘Introduction’, UNESCO Headquar-
ters in Paris, (Germany, 1958)

transnational urbanism:
interview with floris alkemade

Floris Alkemade joins OMA in 1989 and FA: It starts a new way of thinking. In Delta
becomes the director of Architecture and NG: How does this relate to the Delta Metropool, we had to work with the ring
urban design in 1998 and a partner in Metropool study? city as they call it, the Randstad. Essentially
2001. In 2008 he leaves and starts his own it is a system with Amsterdam, The Hague,
practice, Floris Alkemade Architect. Using FA: (Drawing) This is Holland, Amsterdam Rotterdam and Utrecht, and the in-between
‘architect’ in the singular is a deliberate is in the North, which is like London or cities. In a system where Amsterdam is such
choice. Floris does not employ anybody. Paris: a metropolitan area that incorporates a dominant player, and the in-between is
When he ‘wins’ a project, he taps into his other cities around it into one dominant, really fragile, it does not make sense. We
network and sets up a collaboration with radially expanding city. In the South said that it is more a North and a South
an architectural practice for the duration you have The Hague, Rotterdam, Delft, wing, which then was a new notion. Today
of the project. Currently he works in- Dordrecht. None of them have the same it is the description that is being used within
between The Netherlands, Brussels and dominance that Amsterdam does. Here (in politics. By bringing in the logic of the
Paris. It is his involvement in the trans- the South) it is more logical to explore the economics of the public transport system we
administrative urban studies around The freedom that one does have. The spaces made it a rational proposal that could be
Hague that attracts me to interview him in-between the cities become spaces that leveraged in discussions.
on 22nd September 2014, at the cafe of we focus on to create programmes and this
the Kaaitheatre in Brussels. The recurring is realised as a field metropolis. The Prins The aim is to test different hypothesis.
themes in his work and his way of working Clausplein is a further elaboration of one of Trying to imagine different directions. It is
are collaboration, in-between and these in-between spaces. always every small city planning its own
invisibility. periphery, its own infrastructure, its own
NG: They are all separate pieces of a circulation as if there is not a neighbouring
NG: I would like to start with the urban large puzzle. Did you know that at the city doing exactly the same thing. We are
studies for The Hague. There are four beginning? trying to question what it means if these
studies, you were in charge of three of independent systems start to collaborate.
them, Binckhorst, Delta Metropool and FA: It is kind of intuition that you have.
Prins Clausplein. I would like to talk In the office we did a project Pointcity/ Another notion we are interested in is
about the relationship between the four Southcity. There the question is: what that, the historical centre however small
studies. They were commissioned by are the potentials that are released if it is, is always evaluated as our identity.
different clients? you assume a density of Manhattan and Paris: beautiful centre, and then first ring
concentrate the entire Dutch population in around it with mediocre architecture. How
FA: Yes they have different clients, but a single point in the country? Density is the can you accept such a notion? Something
are based on a single vision on how the key to understanding urban systems. We are from another age defining our identity and
city should develop. I think that there are witnessing a decrease in density in Holland everything done by our generation in the
some maps here, (opening the Stroom and in Europe, maybe with the exception periphery with low budget, low architecture,
gallery exhibition catalogue) that I can of London and Paris. The field condition, low ambition. Why not value this in the
use. (looking at Prins Clausplein), there proposed in Delta Metropool is a reversal same way that you value the centre, give it
are different cities near The Hague, of that idea where instead of building at the same attention, the same importance.
like Delft, Zoetermeer and Leiden, they the density of Manhattan, we question the This is the same logic. Highways, industries
are expanding. There is a centre, and a potential of a low density condition. in a way are forming a new centre, treat it
periphery. The question is: What happens in that way, treat it with a kind of reflection,
when the peripheries overlap. We realised NG: These studies are different rather than treating it like it is the backside
that the gravity point is shifting away from possibilities that you are evaluating. of everything. It is also a reflection of what
the historic city centre and is somewhere in What is the role of these studies in the our generation is adding to such a system.
between all the centres. urban discipline? It is very intriguing to work with something
where everything is not dependent on
one core. You can develop new cores, with

modern identities, modern architecture and for these studies now that cities have quality of the water, because the quality of
modern programmes - The questions of become more interesting for the world the water in canals is different from that
‘today’ in the urban tissue. and the economic scope of cities is in the rivers. Some had to do with the way
immense? that you evacuate water in the wet season
NG: The studies demand an element of and add water in the dry season. Where to
administrative restructuring. How does FA: I think so. It also has to do with the put farms and industries. For each zoom we
it go forward with government agencies? fact that the building economy is almost at apply a series of logics that we think are
Who commissions these projects? a standstill. Politicians feel more at ease relevant.
with long term visions. Last year I did a
FA: For the Delta Metropool it was the study for Brabant Stad. which is a region in We also realised that this study needs to be
Rijksbouwmeister. He is an architect who South Netherlands. It is a big scale project seen as a project. We made a fabric which
is responsible for the definition of building for an entire province. There are five big is 3m high and 12m wide. Enormous. You
policies in the Netherlands. He formulated cities and many small communities. In the hardly ever print a plan 12m long. This
the question and invited four or five study we took the water system as a base being fabric it was really nicely made,
agencies, we were one of them. They asked for the study. We found these beautiful maps everybody could recognise their own house
us to look at the Randstad and we developed from the 16 century. There were no roads, because it has a resolution, which is really
the Delta Metropool. You cannot really only rivers and settlements along the river amazing. People walk around it and
implement such a scheme. We presented the in these maps. We studied them. We erased participate within it. We displayed it at the
plan in different forms. For one presentation all infrastructure, left all the settlements Kunsthalle in Rotterdam, it was part of
we invited all the mayors and aldermen of and the water systems. With this action you the biennale exhibition. Now the tapestry
the cities within the scheme, and presented discuss things differently. We won’t look at is going to travel so it will be exhibited for
it. They loved it and they all said that it is the infrastructure, we left out the highways. some time in each of the five cities. Later it
impossible. That has to do with the fact that It is something that helps to look at an area will be permanently displayed in an office
you cannot ask politicians to give up power. in a different way. We are easily triggered for the province. That is a really powerful
They all have power in their own limited to recognise same patterns. By taking out tool to get the message through. This is
circle and they realise that the only way layers, which no longer reconnect to the something that becomes more permanent.
that such a system will work, no matter how known pattern, it opens up new possibilities.
The interview documented here is incomplete and edited
logical it is, is by giving up power. Thats not All of a sudden individual cities become less
what politicians do. interesting. We talked to ecologists about
new infiltration systems. We talked with
NG: This is a similar problem between business men about new uses for canals.
national and international. The national All of a sudden water plays a role in every
system is not ready to give up their reflection. Instead of many disconnected
power to transnational institutions. individual attempts you start to combine
them. That is the interesting thing about
FA: In the Eurocore study, we used night larger scales. You can really work with it
pictures taken by satellites. You can identify without forcing people to act immediately.
London, Paris, Berlin and Milan. In This gives them a possibility to participate
between there is this strange form which is without trying to do something. We can give
a fusion of the Randstad with Amsterdam, it a next go with some pilot projects with
Lille and the Rurh Valley in Germany. This people who see it as an opportunity.
blurry area is actually a new metropolitan
area, but it is part of three, maybe four NG: How do you translate it across the
countries - France, Holland, Germany and scales. You work from architecture to the
Belgium. No one ever plans on this scale. urban to the regional scale.
Yet something is growing there which
takes shape. So we made a part of the FA: We did here. The cities were of course
investigation to see what characteristics important, so we created 5 zooms, where
it develops, It is a metropolitan area but we explored the possibilities we developed
it lacks density but it has all the other as a system within each of these zooms. We
characteristics. We enjoy studies like this. start to recompose their own logic. We made
illustrations of how such a strategy could
NG: It becomes a mode of practice? work in different conditions, We develop
Do you think that there is more scope some principles. Some had to do with the


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Feature: Architecture in Spain and Portugal 2000-2013, David Chipperfield Architects and
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Documentaries and Movies:
The International Criminal Court, documentary by Marcus Vetter and Michele Gentile
The Recokning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court by POV
Watchers of the Sky directed by Edet Berzberg