Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center \ 3XN Architects

• March 28, 2012

3XN Adam Mark Nieuwegein 002 H 600x392 Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center \ 3XN Architects

Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center, image courtesy 3XN Architects | Photo by Adam M¢rk

From Growing Pains to Growing Commitment

The new City Hall and cultural center in the Dutch city of Nieuwegein, is designed to create cohesion and the foundation for a stronger local community.

A modern participatory democracy requires transparency and communication at eye level in the encounter between citizen and authority. These elements have been the core of Danish practice 3XN’s design.

3XN Adam Mark Nieuwegein 013 H 600x901 Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center \ 3XN Architects

Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center, image courtesy 3XN Architects | Photo by Adam M¢rk

It was important for us to create a building that was welcoming, rather than authoritarian in its expression,” says

Principal and founder of 3XN, Kim Herforth Nielsen

Nieuwegein is located 5 km south of Utrecht, and since 1970 the city has grown from having just 8,000 inhabitants to 62,000 inhabitants in 2012. The strong growth in population makes heavy demands on the city administration to develop the city socially and culturally.

It’s a challenge they are very conscious of in Nieuwegein. Therefore we have tried to create a building that can be a catalyst for social affiliation with the city.

Kim Herforth Nielsen

3XN Adam Mark Nieuwegein 035 H 600x900 Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center \ 3XN Architects

Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center, image courtesy 3XN Architects | Photo by Adam M¢rk

Architecturally the building takes its point of departure from a central and bright atrium from where a sculptural staircase soars up through the building and connects the many diverse facilities – indeed facilities not normally found in a City Hall. By bringing together the local library, citizen service centre, café, cultural center and commercial spaces in the building, the City Hall fuses with a range of everyday activities. This creates life in the building all day, and strengthens the connection to the commercial and residential area surrounding the building.

3XN Adam Mark Nieuwegein 025 H 600x441 Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center \ 3XN Architects

Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center, image courtesy 3XN Architects | Photo by Adam M¢rk

The five floors spread out like a fan and open up towards the atrium, allowing the building’s visitors and employees to visually connect with what is happening on the other floors. 3XN puts great emphasis into maximizing the benefits of daylight through use of windows, including a huge picture window on the 4th floor, through which daylight streams down into the building.

Daylight contributes to a good working and living environment – it allows one to follow the rhythm of the day and enjoy the small nuances created by the shifting daylight.

Kim Herforth Nielsen

3XN Adam Mark Nieuwegein 070 H 600x450 Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center \ 3XN Architects

Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center, image courtesy 3XN Architects | Photo by Adam M¢rk

The Mayor of Nieuwegein, Mr. Frans Backhuijs describes the open structure of the building and the many different facilities as a great advantage for the city administration.

We are in close visual contact with the city and citizens throughout the day. That contributes to even more joy and enthusiasm when working for a better Nieuwegein.

3XN Adam Mark Nieuwegein 065 H 600x400 Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center \ 3XN Architects

Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center, image courtesy 3XN Architects | Photo by Adam M¢rk

The building has two facades. The inner is a traditional facade of concrete and glass, while the exterior facade of glass patterned silkscreen almost folds around the building, but without covering it completely. This avoids direct sunlight in work station areas, while spaces like the lobby and restaurant receive maximum natural daylight and unobstructed views over the city. The glass’ geometric patterns in blue and grey give the facade a three-dimensional expression and reflect the diversity of both the building and Nieuwegein.

3XN Nieuwegein 00 floor 600x597 Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center \ 3XN Architects

Nieuwegein City Hall and Cultural Center - Ground floor plan, drawing courtesy 3XN Architects

+ Project facts

Stadshuis Nieuwegein
Cityplaza, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands

Function: City Hall, library, commercial spaces, citizen service center, café, cultural house
Completed: September 2011
Official Opening: March 2012
Construction Start: 2008 (Competition won in 2006)
Size: 27.000 m2
Price: 49 mio. euro
Client: Gemeente Nieuwegein, Projectbureau Binnenstad
Architect: 3XN
Local architect: ABT
Interior: Fokkema
Engineer: Zonneveld Ingenieur & Nelissen Ingenieursbureau
Photographer: Adam M¢rk

+ All images and drawings courtesy 3XN Architects | Photo by Adam M¢rk

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Architecture, Civic, Selected