Mediation Institute The Hague

The extended slogan of The Hague is ‘City of peace justice and security’ which gives a very abstract notion of what the city is representing. The city is lacking a physical appearance of legal and justice. At the same time the planning is based on a passive settling policy as it comes to establishing or replacing international organizations in the field of legal and justice. The applied policy is reserving space instead of urban planning the future image. This gave the necessity to propose a new urban strategy. A strategy which deals with the concentration, broadcasting and interaction of various organizations and institutes where security, accessibility and image are dealt with as a collective.

Within this proposed urban strategy the MITH is situated. The ‘Mediation Institute The Hague’ reveals a architectonic concept for a more social equivalent of the courtroom. It allows a more favorable interpretation of the words legal and justice and therefore creates a positive physical image for the city.

The mediation environment is formed through four different spaces in which mediation takes shape. The spaces are very much distinguished in order to allow a wide spectrum of global conflicts. Every room handles specific elements in the mediation process. The Circle creates a collective focus and allows both one way and mutual conversations. The Cube is the most intimate and private space, it’s concept is an office without references to a certain culture, political system or religion. The Triangle is meant for one way communication only, it allows oppression over a group by a specific individual in order to enforce the process. And the Channel allows groups to converse on an equal level with the possibility of a moderated discussion. These four spaces are floating within a cubical volume and are all connected through a gallery which runs from the ground floor to the rooftop. This allows wondering through the building and is creating moments for privacy, views, relaxation and so on.

A mediation process is an information driven complex process. It is therefore that the residue is filled with generic program containing a library, press rooms, restaurant, research facilities, television studio, archive, caucus spaces and conference rooms among others. With this an information platform is provided within the mediation environment. To allow multiple constellations the platform is kept flexible with as little interference trough structure or services as possible. The distribution of the four spaces, based on their demands and appearance, combined with the demand for flexibility has resulted in horizontal sectioning of the building. Less and thinner columns on all floors, and as a result of the sectioning the quotient represents an outdoor space. In a highly pressurized process of mediation the oasis on top of the tree crowns is a more than welcome moment to breathe.

It’s cubical shape, serenity and its scale allow a dialogue with the Peace Palace, but permit it to remain the most iconic building within the discourse. The allowance of visitors inside the building to experience the oasis, gallery and four spaces on specific moments make the MITH a contemporary contribution to the legal and justice palette in The Hague.


  • 2009-2010


  • Dennis van de Rijdt


  • Beatriz Ramo, ST-AR Rotterdam


  • Bernd Upmeyer, BOARD Rotterdam

Structural advisor

  • Han Krijgsman, ABT Delft