The building takes the form of a blob erupting from a rectangular podium, and, with its somewhat 1970s orange and brown colour scheme, is wilfully ungainly
The idea of the courthouse as an imposing or even admonitory presence was once common, but in recent years has tended to be rejected in favour of ‘human-scaled’ architecture (whatever that means), softer edges, and ‘warmer’ materials and colours. Not so in the case of this multi-use building for the city of Hasselt. The structure incorporates six law courts to one side of the building, a library and classrooms for the university law faculty on the other, and, in the centre, an office tower surmounted by a restaurant with panoramic views. The building takes the form of a blob erupting from a rectangular podium, and, with its somewhat 1970s orange and brown colour scheme, is wilfully ungainly. The architects claim that the bizarre silhouette is inspired by the hazelnut trees on the city’s coat of arms, a motif that is continued inside the building with leaf-vein patterned walls.
This case study is part of Typology: Law Court. Read the full article here