A dream team of architects, including J. Mayer H. Architects, a2o-architecten, and Lens Ass Architecten, have almost finished building a brand new courthouse for the revamped town of Hasselt, Belgium. Part of a masterplan by revitalization geniuses West 8, the Hasselt courthouse will help transform the city's old railway station into an new public center with beautifully integrated parks, offices, hotels, and an entirely new residential block. The courthouse's branched facade not only marks the building as a symbol of modern progress, but also harks back to the town's art-nouveau roots.
The new district courthouse is a tree-like structure inside and out. The branched facade alludes to a hazelnut tree, the prominent feature on the town's coat of arms. Inside, the building is split into three distinct wings, keeping offices, courtrooms, and a community library separately contained. The steel lining of each wing recalls Hasselt's industrial past while nodding toward the future design of the rest of the district. The courthouse is scheduled to be open and ready for business in spring 2013.
images © J. Mayer H. Architects