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Rogers lays down the law in Antwerp

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Richard Rogers Partnership has won an international competition to design a new £50 million complex of Law Courts for the city of Antwerp in Belgium.

The practice was chosen last week by a jury convened by the Belgian Ministry of Justice to build the striking project alongside Belgian architect/engineer Van Kerckhove, Arup Consulting Engineers and landscape architect Wirtz International, from a shortlist of three.

The 75,000m2 Rogers design - a natural development of motifs and design concepts, such as public accessibility and transparency, of previous projects - has as its main feature a series of sail-like roofs intended to be visible from vantage-points around the city. The proposed law courts have eight wings arranged symmetrically round the axis of a central public space traditionally known as the Salle des Pas Perdus. The architects have maximised the benefits of natural light, setting the building on an east-west orientation and including 'fingers' of landscaped parkland extending into the complex. The practice has also used natural ventilation where possible and recycled rainwater to reduce energy consumption.

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