The first renovation phase of the Palace of Justice in Den Bosch has been completed. In 2023 the characteristic end-of-century building is due to comply with contemporary user requirements and future standards for sustainable operations. Levels of orientation are up, thanks to a thorough reconfiguration of the program, while the offices of various judicial organisations offer a comfortable and flexible working environment.

Construction-combination Dura Vermeer | Croonwolter&Dros, with a renovation design by Fokkema & Partners, have now started the second phase of its commission by the Dutch Central Real Estate Agency. Ultimately the construction will encompass a total of 32,000 square meters. Trials in the courtrooms will continue as usual. The motto 'a courteous and sustainable renovation for justice' has been the guiding principle for the extensive construction works that have started in April 2021.

Long corridors and small private rooms in the Palace of Justice made way for open routes and interconnected spaces. The staff can work quietly and concentrate in a work environment that is easy to navigate. For meetings, they will have elegantly renovated restaurants (due to be delivered in phase II), meeting rooms and other venues at their disposal, all in keeping with the reputable character of the administration.

Light and space

The Government Real Estate Agency and the users of the Palais have been involved in the elaboration of the design. The result? Even more attention to daylight, spacious feel and flexibility; the workplaces can be made larger or smaller as necessary. Thanks to the rearrangement of the building, the building better accommodates related organisations in the realm of justice, such as the Immigration & Naturalisation Service, the Child Protection Board and the Repatriation & Departure Service. Its public representation is enhanced with some alterations to the exterior and with welcoming and transparent service areas.

Comfortable and sustainable

Comfortable, quiet and safe working conditions in a sustainable environment have been the main priorities throughout the renovation project. The quality of the indoor climate has greatly improved; the technical installations are thoroughly renewed, sound insulation has been optimised and aspects of fire safety have been modified.

The materials used to make the interior, such as wood and wool felt, enhance the natural look and feel with increased levels of comfort. The Palace is heated and cooled with a sustainable heat pump; an important step toward a completely gas-free building in the future.

Intensive collaborations

The scope and scale of the renovation called for constructive collaboration between the construction and design teams and all parties involved; the Government Real Estate Agency; the Palace users; all its visitors and the people living or working in the vicinity of the Palace of Justice.

After all, the building has a prominent location in the city centre, just beside the Den Bosch railway station and moreover, it remains in use during the renovation. This is only possible thanks to the coordination and clear communication with all parties. Together, every effort is made to pursue a minimum of nuisance up to the finalisation of the third and final renovation phase that will commence in mid-2022 and is due to be completed in 2023.

Photography Lucas van der Wee
Exterior image by Marc Bolsius

More about the design for the complete renovation >