The new Palace of Justice in Amsterdam was officially opened by King Willem-Alexander recently. On a man-made peninsula in the IJ Lake, the new building of the Court of Justice, which has left its home of 175 years on the Prinsengracht, is connected to the building housing the Public Prosecutor’s Office by a glazed elevated walkway. The Dutch Government Buildings Agency commissioned the design for the two buildings from Claus and Kaan Architects. Bolidt has been closely involved in the realisation of this project.
The new 34,000 m2 complex accommodates about 700 desk spaces, 19 court rooms, several storage rooms for court files and 26 cells to temporarily hold suspects on the day of their appeal. These and other functions used to be spread over three buildings on the Prinsengracht and various office buildings in the city centre.
The building stands as a prominent, impressive and individual landmark overlooking the IJ. The façades are made up of horizontal layers of five high-quality materials, each with its own texture but all in a subtle colour palette of whites and pale greys: natural stone, ceramic elements, whitened concrete, glazed brick and powder-coated steel plate. Carefully positioned windows bring natural light into the interior spaces and offer views of the IJ and the city.
The complex contains three outdoor areas, of which the largest one, accessible from the staff restaurant, is a courtyard surrounded by so-called green façades, where the vertical external walls are overgrown with plants.
These unobtrusive materials provide the Palace of Justice with an inviting, durable and yet professional appearance. This concept, including the soft, natural colour palette, has also been extended to the interior.
Jan Kerkhof, architect with Claus and Kaan: “We had a particular shade of white in mind for the flooring, which continued in exactly the same colour on the surrounding walls and was therefore not allowed to be even a tinge off. That specific colour was whiter than the standard white. Bolidt has produced this bespoke colour for us and, in doing so, fully met our wishes.”
Based on positive experiences with the Bolidtop® 525 system in the past, Claus and Kaan decided to use the Bolidtop® 525 for this project as well. This flow applied floor finish is scratch proof, wear resistant, comfortable to walk on and reduces impact noise.
Integrated room automation in the new Palace of Justice, Amsterdam
In the new Palace of Justice in Amsterdam, an energy-efficient, productive and comfortable working environment has been created for around 700 employees. The ecos 5 integrated room automation from SAUTER combines the controlling of the room climate with the daylight-dependent lighting control. SAUTER modulo 5, based on BACnet/IP, ensures the seamless integration of the room automation, building automation and building management system.
By Wietse Hut, Manager Branch Office Meppel, SAUTER Building Control Nederland B.V.
The new building replaces the historical Palace of Justice, which was bursting at the seams. The impressive external architecture and the internal design, with its clear structures and bright marble surfaces, emphasise the ambition of the courthouse. It is timeless, and designed so that it can be used for generations to come. Maximum flexibility of room division and very low energy consumption were called for. The energy concept is based on using the heat from water supplied by a heat pump. The Palace of Justice was certified with the Environmental Assessment Method of the Building Research Establishment organisation (BREEAM).
An integrated solution
For the building and room automation, SAUTER turned to the EY-modulo 5 family of systems: for the building automation system, the modu525 automation station was used, and for the room automation, room automation stations of the ecos 5 type with EnOcean wireless technology. SAUTER novaPro Open was chosen as the building management system for monitoring and controlling the entire installation.
Full flexibility for flexible room utilisation
Almost the entire building is designed as an open space area with rooms organised flexibly by means of glass partitions. The integrated room automation with SAUTER ecos 5 is based on individual room segments with all the functions of the room climate and the lighting. In the building management system, these segments are individually grouped into rooms. Reprogramming or even rewiring when changing the room division is now a thing of the past. Grouping segments into rooms means, for example, that a light switch controls the entire lighting of the room, and a setpoint for the room temperature selected on the room control unit affects all the heated/chilled beams in the room. Therefore, the ecos 5 system provides a perfect solution for intelligent, flexible rooms.
SAUTER Nederland implemented this challenging project and was once again able to reap the benefits of the open BACnet/IP bus protocol.
Unique bi-directional EnOcean technology
Open Space architecture, with partitions made of glass and accordingly flexible room division, also places particular demands with regard to the selection of the room control unit: wireless technology, no batteries, easy addition of operating points when the room division is changed, and the feedback of operating activities on the local LCD display. The SAUTER ecoUnit 1 room control unit fulfils these requirements superbly by means of the EnOcean standard, with energy harvested via the integrated solar panel. Therefore, the operating points can be retrofitted at any time by means of a teach-in on the radio receiver, and an adhesive pad is provided for installing these on glass. This room control unit is remarkable for its unique bi-directional communication. The room temperature and operating activities, such as dimming/switching lights on and off, are transferred to the room automation station, and conversely, the users can read the target room temperature and information on the heating and cooling from the display of the room control unit at any time. Therefore, users have more information, and this contributes to the energy optimisation of the rooms.
The sustainability of this building is reflected in the building automation through the open, flexible SAUTER modulo 5 system, which is ideally equipped for future requirements for the utilisation of the building.
For the all-new 34,000 m2 Amsterdam courthouse Paleis van Justitie, Claus and Kaan architects pioneer in new façade standards. This courthouse is modern and well-equipped and offers more comfortable workspaces, in compliance with new regulations and prescriptions for public organizations and - partly due to its sustainable facades that are BREEAM certified. The facades, in which a total of 30,050 individual elements have been produced, consist of ceramic TERRART® elements made by Hunter Douglas NBK Ceramic. Massive terracotta panels were each individually pressed 3 dimensionally to create texture and shadow effects for the façade surface. The Mid panels were executed with pearlescent glazing applied by Koninklijke Tichelaar - the oldest company (1572) in the Netherlands.