Administratively, Nieuwegein is a very young city. Located 5 km from Utrecht, it ceased to be considered a suburb only in the 1970s and began to develop independently. Over the past 40 years, its population has grown almost 8 times, and the city has an urgent need for some kind of community center, which would not only become a symbol of the dynamically growing Nieuwegein, but could also serve as a kind of social magnet, a place of attraction for all its inhabitants.
The need to accommodate officials of the local mayor's office in more comfortable conditions turned out to be very useful, and the desire to make the process of managing the city as democratic and understandable as possible for the residents of Nieuwegein prompted the idea to combine administrative and socio-cultural functions under one roof. As a result, the complex included the city library, office premises, an exhibition hall, a space for cultural events, and even a cafe with a restaurant.
The building, built on the main square of the city, has five floors, although its height is not obvious at first glance. This is facilitated by the numerous consoles at different levels and the unusual façade cladding invented by 3XN. A fairly standard parallelepiped is wrapped in a wide strip of structural glazing, on which a geometric pattern is applied by silk-screening.
In the layers of this tape, the architects make tears, so that if it were not for the sharp corners, the building could be compared to a partially peeled orange. Plus, architects join together glass panels of different degrees of transparency, alternating them with long wedges, which creates the feeling of numerous creases and folds, visually complicating the geometry of the entire building.
The key element of the interior layout of the 3XN complex was made a multi-lighted atrium, the main decoration of which is a snow-white spiral staircase and a giant skylight. It is no secret that such a solution to public complexes is a favorite technique of the Danish bureau, perfected by it to perfection at dozens of objects in different European countries. At the same time, it must be admitted that in the case of the Nieuwegein administration, it came in handy: the meeting rooms of the mayor's office and the offices of its officials turned into the atrium space really make the process of managing the city extremely clear and open.