J. Mayer H. Architects' recently completed Court of Justice in Hasselt, Belgium is now ready to lay down the law. Designed with the help of a2o Architecten and Lens°Ass Architecten, the new Court of Justice is a transparent public building that contains courtrooms and educational spaces. The exterior features a perforated skin that shades the interior from solar heat gain while still allowing plenty of daylight inside. Inspired by the hazelnut tree, the office tower features a branched facade that gives a nod to the city's rich industrial past.
The Court of Justice is one of two towers built for a new master planned area in Hasselt that includes a park, public buildings, offices and hotels, as well as urban residential blocks. The original plan was designed by West 8 and it sits next to light rail station. J. Mayer H. completed the exterior of the building in 2011, and building officially opens to the public on September 13, 2013.
Inspiration for the project came from the hazelnut tree, which is featured in the City of Hasselt’s coat of arms The building’s Art Nouveau-influenced design also calls back to the town’s steel buildings and industrial past. The tower provides 20,763 sq m (233,500 sq ft) of space for offices, meeting rooms, a library, a reception area, a cafeteria, and court rooms. Daylight and transparency played important roles in the design as expressed by the building’s facade.
The building’s tree-branched exterior is accented by perforated panels that let in daylight but shield the interior from heat, much like the leaves on a tree. The building is divided into three units: the courtrooms, the library for students, and an office tower with a restaurant on top offering panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
Learn more about the fantastic work of J. Mayer H. in this interview about his Metropol Parasol project in Seville, Spain.
Images ©Filip Dujardin, Philippe van Gelooven, Bieke Claessens