DP6 and i29 present the design transformation of building H in the Utrecht Courthouse.

DP6 architectural studio and i29 interior designers present the final design for SSR’s new homes in building part H of the courthouse in Utrecht. The classically designed building from 1903 regains its clear structure, is made more sustainable and gets a new timeline that should reflect SSR’s identity.

The Study Center for the Judiciary (SSR) is the internal training institute for the judiciary and the public prosecutor’s office, located in Utrecht. The institute will be housed in building part H of the Utrecht Courthouse, which will house the Central Netherlands District Court and the Central Appeals Board.

Classic grandeur
Building part H, located on Catharijnesingel, was built in 1903 as an HBS, commissioned and designed by the Municipal Work Department. The architecture has a classic design, say DP6 and i29, who have made the design for the transformation.

All facades have a symmetrical design and influences from PJH Cuypers architecture are clearly recognizable. The building has a mirrored U-shaped floor plan. The symmetrical staircase, the vestibules, the long lines of sight and refined materials give the interior grandeur, the architectural firms believe.

That greatness has faded somewhat with time. Building part H was used until 1995 as a teaching building; it was then converted into an office building for the courthouse. The through corridors were closed to create office space, the view disappeared and suspended ceilings were added, DP6 and i29 explain.

Restore the brightness
With the transformation and making the building more sustainable, the architectural firms want to restore the original brightness. In addition, they aim to create a recognizable place with its own identity for SSR: “A familiar, creative and inviting learning and work environment where students, teachers and staff feel at home.”

To begin with, walls, suspended ceilings, and other “clutter” interventions added over the years are removed; details return to view. DP6 and i29 want to create breakthroughs in strategic places to create more openness and views and to bring more daylight into the interior.

This also creates a view of the inner garden, which will form a green oasis in the heart of the building. The concept of meeting and learning from each other is also continued here in the open air, the architects believe.

high quality
In designing the new elements, architects always strive for balance: “Balance between old and new, between state and homeliness, between round and square shapes, between soft and hard materials, between transparency and security.” Consistent choices in the use of materials and colors and careful detailing should result in an overall image that exudes high quality.

For example, the terrazzo floors in the ground floor corridors are being restored; a new trowel floor with smart lines will give the same hallway atmosphere to the floors. New interior frames made of dark steel contrast with the old ones, so the structure of the original openings remains recognizable. As an acoustic solution, uniform ceiling lakes and new light objects connect the different spaces.

Meet and work
The design of the DP6 and i29 allows for different meeting places in the building. Students are received in the vestibule, which has been restored to its original condition. In addition to a distinctive service desk, there will be comfortable seating overlooking the green inner garden and the monumental staircase.

On the first floor, students and teachers meet in a so-called social hub. It offers a great diversity of places to meet, learn or work and have lunch. Course rooms and picture and sound studios are also located on the two lower floors. The two upper floors are designed as an up-to-date and open working environment for SSR, which is also open to the Tinghuset’s other users.

In addition to DP6 and i29, the design team consists of: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Nelissen engineering company, Bureau Vlaardingerbroek and HI-Plus.

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