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The Simplicity and Complexity of Architecture



The Simplicity and Complexity of Architecture

FOREWORD Movi(e)ng Architecture Kristin Feireiss, Beate Engelhorn

3XN is one of the most success-

they ask if „architecture can

the construction of facades and

Danish architectural offices. The

„yes“, because it´s a moving

building industry forward.

ful and internationally known

founder and director Kim Nielsen

dance“ we definitely can answer architecture in every sense of

building methods, pushing the

the word.

So it is not a coincidence that

of his passionate work. This

3XN defines places and spaces

Scenes“ for their new exhibition

first showed his projects in an

creating an unique appearance

puts the relation between men and space on the first spot

was also in 2010, when Aedes exhibition about the influence of architecture on human be-

haviour. Now we are celebrating the offices 30 anniversary to

demonstrate that Kim Nielsen

through architectural settings,

and identity. The power of their work achieves to move people, places and technology to a better presence.

and his team are creating much

To reach this targets 3XN is do-

architecture gives cities and

able and resilient materials and

more then buildings. Their

their inhabitants an essential

added value in function as well as in living quality. And when

ing intense research on sustaintechnologies. Therefore they

founded the new branch GXN

that is developing new ideas for

3XN chose the title „Behind the at Aedes. Besides the fact that, like in a movie, the making of a project needs a lot of partici-

pants, partners and experts to bring it to birth – all is made to

have an happy ending: for the

partners in the building process, for the cities and places, as well as for the users of the architecture, spaces and facilities. Congratulations!



Connection Envelope

Ingredients Evolution


"The most exciting stories are the ones which describe what is actually happening in the buildings. The art of architecture is to build a sculpture around the patterns of movement and the synergies that arise between people" Kim Herforth Nielsen Creative Director and Founding Principal, 3XN


A building can appear to the

In this exhibition, 3XN has

silhouette. This simple image

of dozens of buildings. Some

viewer as a single object, a

belies an inherent complexity.

Architects are in the fortunate position of working “behind

the scenes,” seeing the multi-

included models and images

of them are built or under construction, others merely ideas. Each one has its own story.

plicity of people, stories, layers

Architecture consists of do-

a building.

of layers. Here they focus on

and processes that comprise

On their 30th anniversary, 3XN

takes a look behind the scenes, beyond an image of form and

façade, and tells stories from the process of creating buildings and from the collaborations established along the way.

zens, hundreds, or thousands four significant layers: Space, Connection, Envelope and

Ingredients. In addition, they

examine the Evolution of form

within and between projects and the Collaboration associated

with a single project and across different sectors.


Architects shape space, and through space, behaviour. Simple layouts can create complex spaces that support people working, interacting, learning and living. Flexible open layouts, ample daylight, visual and physical connection and an attention to human scale are all hallmarks of the design included in this portion of the exhibition.

Why Do 2,500 Employees Need 5,500 Workspaces?

After four decades in Stockholm’s

the day, providing the best

Swedbank had outgrown its

professional and even social

central business district,

existing headquarters. It wanted a new building that embraced the working methods and

technology associated with banking in the 21st century

and reinforced its brand as an

innovative financial institution. 3XN’s design helps Swedbank


staff break old patterns by LOCATION Stockholm, Sweden CLIENT Humlegården Fastigheter FUNCTION Office Headquarters GROSS FLOOR AREA 45,000 m2 YEAR 2014

removing nearly every traditional, fixed office space and offering

instead a diverse range of flexible

environments. The interior design creates dynamism throughout

possible facilities for changing requirements. The furniture –

from standing desks to private

cubbies – supports a full range of work styles and tasks.

The design supports all ‘speeds’ of working: slow, medium and fast. Each employee can find

the right environment for his or her specific needs that day or even that hour.

SPACE / Behind the Scenes

More Behind the Scenes

Of all the contributions the

The design team created a

Swedbank headquarters, art-

hangs over the ramp to the car

architects made to the new

work was the least expected. Swedbank amassed an im-

pressive collection of contemporary art to adorn the public

areas of its new headquarters. Inspired by this and seeing an unrealized opportunity deep

in the building, Humlegården,

the project’s developer, invited 3XN to contribute an art piece


– in the basement.

colorful neon installation, which park. The shape is a clever nod to both the building’s plan and

a set of arrows pointing drivers in the right direction - art and wayfinding combined.


"There are people who have been here for 25 years and only met each other for the first time the week we moved in [to the new headquarters.] They had never crossed paths before, even though they worked in the same office" Bjรถrn Larsson Swedbank

Can a Building Dance? 3XN designed a new home

for the Stuttgart Ballet’s John Cranko School comprising a

number of uniform boxes that

twist rhythmically around a spine in an upward movement, cap-

turing the motion of a dancer’s

graceful pirouette. The physical form of the building subtly

John Cranko Ballet School

evokes the activity inside.

LOCATION Stuttgart, Germany CLIENT Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg, Amt Stuttgart FUNCTION Ballet School YEAR 2011

SPACE / Behind the Scenes

Quay Quarter Tower

Room to Grow The new Quay Quarter Tower

in Sydney features five ‘vertical

villages’ – groups of office floors that share an expansive atrium that brings daylight and views deep into the building while

providing visual and physical

connection for the staff. Some

base floors of the atria will have deconstructable floors that allow the size of the tenants’

allowing the company to expand without losing the connectivity the atria allow. As the special

floors would be deconstructed

after the building is complete, it means 3XN must design all of their components to fit in the freight elevator!

LOCATION Sydney, Australia CLIENT AMP Capital FUNCTION Office, shops, bars and restaurants GROSS FLOOR AREA 102.000 m2 YEAR 2014

SPACE / Behind the Scenes

‘village’ to grow with their needs,

Quay Quarter Tower

SPACE / Behind the Scenes


Stairs can do more than move people between floors and structures can bridge more than water. Stairs can catalyse human interaction and create opportunities for unexpected meetings. Buildings can bridge gaps in the urban fabric, becoming nodes instead of voids. Referencing its surroundings and history, architecture can connect periods in time.

Colour as Context

Locating a new rail station on

tary colors for the Odenplan

to the surrounding buildings for

blend of five different terracotta

a prominent plaza, 3XN looked inspiration. Designers realized that the prominent shade of Stockholm is warm beige.

The Odenplan square had

already been designed, and the station building was to stand

on a strip of granite. 3XN began ‘matchmaking’ between the


LOCATION Stockholm, Sweden CLIENT Trafikverket FUNCTION Station GROSS FLOOR AREA 300 m2 YEAR 2011

granite and the surrounding

buildings. 3XN took a sample of the granite to Germany, where architects worked with NBK

Terracotta to find complemen-

station facade. The result was a tiles in three colors and two

textures. The different shades

of beige make up a subtle color palette, harmonizing with the surroundings and the city.

CONNECTION / Behind the Scenes

Less is More

This radical new interpretation of a high school features no corridors and few enclosed

Students quickly embraced

communication and self-

Kjaer Andersen reports that the

directed learning.

Ørestad College

said Kim Herforth Nielsen.

classrooms.The open environ-

ment encourages collaboration,

LOCATION Copenhagen, Denmark CLIENT Municipality of Copenhagen FUNCTION College GROSS FLOOR AREA 12,000 m2 YEAR 2007

teaching and interaction,”

By eliminating corridors, 3XN

reduced the overall size of the building by 25% (4,000m2!) vs. a typical school. “Every

square centimeter is used for

their new school. Principal Allan administration spends much

less money removing graffiti, repairing petty vandalism or

other similar maintenance than in any other school building in which he has worked over his long tenure.

CONNECTION / Behind the Scenes

More Behind the Scenes

Students quickly embraced

other similar maintenance than

Kjaer Andersen reports that the

which he has worked over his

their new school. Principal Allan administration spends much

less money removing graffiti,

in any other school building in long tenure.

repairing petty vandalism or

CONNECTION / Behind the Scenes

A Cultural Connection

Molde, a Norwegian town of

front building, the town decided

one of the oldest jazz festivals in

perceived as the backside of

25,000 people, is the home of

Europe. Having featured names like Miles Davis, Sam Rivers

and Muddy Waters, the festival, established in 1961, put the

town of Molde on the world map. In 2012, Plassen Cultural Centre became a new venue for the

vibrant cultural scene, with a versatile concert and theatre hall,

Cultural Centre 'Plassen'

library and gallery. Instead of

opting for a monumental water-

to use a site that was previously town. Now the culture house connects the terrain with a

grand staircase, and has turned a gap in the urban fabric into an important node. On a normal

day, the roof of the building is a public space, with a great view

over the fjord, while at events all surfaces of the building, inside

and out, turn into one big stage with endless opportunities for the different performances.

CONNECTION / Behind the Scenes LOCATION Molde, Norway CLIENT The Theatre and Jazz House FUNCTION Cultural Center GROSS FLOOR AREA 5,800 m2 YEAR 2012

What if the UN City Staircase Had Been an Elevator?

UN City brings together eight

The original brief for the building

of the global peacekeeper in one

and not a stair, in the atrium.

different agencies and functions regional office in Copenhagen. These independent groups

inhabit the arms of the star-

shaped building. The arms come together in a central atrium

through which all employees

travel, making it an important meeting space. A central

staircase connects the floors

United Nations City

vertically and horizontally.

required two glass elevators, Believing strongly that stairs

can be a catalyzer, encouraging people to casually meet and

connect, 3XN proposed stairs

instead of elevators. Discussions followed. Proposals were made (including one stair that had

a bright orange interior finish, which designers abandoned because it would collect too much dust.)

The final wooden stair features

a black, high gloss exterior that

some refer to as a ‘piano finish.’ This is where the staff meet

their peers from other branches, make lunch plans and establish unforeseen collaborations.

LOCATION Copenhagen, Denmark CLIENT By og Havn A/S FUNCTION Office GROSS FLOOR AREA 45,000 m2 and 7,000 m2 basement YEAR 2013

CONNECTION / Behind the Scenes

United Nations City

More Behind the Scenes

Due to the nature of its activities,

Built on an island, a footbridge

building. The design features

nects UN City to the mainland.

UN City required a high-security special bomb security measures, including a film over all

doors and windows that, in case of explosion, can stretch up to three meters before returning to place. UN City is the only

with a security checkpoint con3XN designed this high-security accessway, ensuring that the

strict safety requirements were

met in a design that reflects the building and its surroundings.

building designed by 3XN for which they conducted bomb tests during construction.

CONNECTION / Behind the Scenes


A building’s façade is more than skin deep. It conveys a message about its owner and occupant, effects the building’s overall performance, contributes to the urban fabric of the neighborhood in which it is located. Façades can be low or high tech, guide or prevent views, inspire new solutions and represent dynamic design.

Museum of Liverpool

Start with the Finish

Jura Gelb, a form of limestone,

face of the stone, scratching an

especially its affordability and

results in a whiter appearance.

has many positive qualities,

resistance to saline environ-

attractive random pattern that

ments, that made it an excellent

3XN quickly saw the possibilities

of Liverpool. One initial concern

with the quarry to develop

choice to clad the new Museum for the architects, however,

is that the unpolished stone can appear yellow – and the Museum should be white.

When the project architect visited the stone quarry in

for the method and worked

the technique for production. The Museum of Liverpool

represents the first time that it was used on a large scale. The firm continues to employ the method on buildings today.

Germany to select specific

pieces for the facade, he saw that the staff at the quarry

was experimenting with a new finish treatment made with a

rotating wire brush. Using this technique, called “Katzschliff” in German, the brush gently

rotates across the entire sur-

LOCATION Liverpool, England CLIENT National Museums Liverpool FUNCTION Museum GROSS FLOOR AREA 13,000 m2 YEAR 2011

ENVELOPE / Behind the Scenes

ENVELOPE / Behind the Scenes

"The best design is often created under tough constraints; constraints that can be turned into design drivers and used to make informed and creative architecture" Jan Ammundsen Senior Partner, Head of Design, 3XN

Learning from Windmills

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspired by the windmills, the

quarters for Horten, a Danish law

panelized façade element that

While designing the new head-

firm, the project architect visited a factory that produces windmill blades. He quickly realized

that the technique used there

– ‘sandwiching’ foam insulation

between fibreglass – could solve 3XN’s challenge for the façade

Horten Headquarters

of the new building.

design team developed a

sandwiches an insulating foam

core between two layers of fibreglass composite, all capped by

an outer layer of travertine. It is

the world’s first self-supporting fiberglass façade

ENVELOPE / Behind the Scenes

LOCATION Copenhagen, Denmark CLIENT Carlsberg Ejendomme FUNCTION Offices GROSS FLOOR AREA 10.000 m2 YEAR 2009

ENVELOPE / Behind the Scenes

More Behind the Scenes

3XN designed the facade’s

and heat gain, and conveying

a number of client requests

and modernity of the practice.

complex geometries to satisfy and site conditions: ensuring

views towards the water for all

partners, limiting direct sunlight

a message about the strength

The result is a sustainable and sophisticated building.

83 Caps

Rumour has it that one of 3XN’s

3XN’s primary design challenge

a baseball cap at the time when

light for the employees. With

architects used to regularly wear the firm designed the Middelfart

Savings Bank. Legend has it that is inspired the bank’s charac-

teristic roof with many dormers.

was how to provide natural

a seaside site, architects had

identified the goal of providing

all staff with a sea view. In large

open spaces with many windows, there would, however, be con-

cerns about overheating, glare,

and distracting light reflections on computers. Therefore, the

design would also require some kind of screen, even if the main

Middelfart Savings Bank

façade of the building would be facing north, as the light from

the sky alone is strong enough

to disturb any indoor workplace. This is where the cap came

into play. The expansive roof is

actually one large window made up of 83 variations of dormers

with glass and built in, cap-like peaks. Rotating the building’s

bearing system and positioning the basic geometry perpendi-

cular to the shore (as opposed to a traditional rafter construction that would lie across the pros-

pect) resulted in long diamond

shapes, which both support the building and ensure the views.

The 83 caps were prefabricated and all mounted on the roof in only three days.

ENVELOPE / Behind the Scenes LOCATION Middelfart, Denmark CLIENT Trekantens Ejendomsselskab A/S FUNCTION Saving bank, Office GROSS FLOOR AREA 5,000 m2 YEAR 2010


Materials, methods, knowledge and innovation all come together to make a building. Here we explore the development of new materials that help eliminate the concept of waste from the building industry, processes that save energy or time, collaborations that result in new solutions or unexpected opportunities to make a building better.

Noma Food Lab

An Architectural Recipe Widely regarded as one of the

tool to optimize the design

NOMA needed an inspiring

that the interior was designed and

best restaurants in the world,

‘experimentarium’ where chefs could continue to develop

Nordic cuisine. The NOMA Lab

and restaurant are situated in a

former warehouse that is on the national registry of protected

buildings. This meant that there to the columns the building and

that GXN was required to design the interior without using a

single nail in the walls or flooring. Ingredients

• 200 m2 protected former warehouse.

• 249 sheets of sustainable, Nordic veneer

• 520 unique boxes

• 5,283 individual parts

• 11,472 meters of CNC milling

delivered as a three-dimensional puzzle of over 5,000 parts that

were assembled without the help of craftsmen and without using a

single nail or screw. They achieved this by moving the generation

of geometry and construction

drawings from architect to the software that GXN developed

specifically for the project and

by manipulating the inputs in the software and the software itself,

resulting in a completely dynamic model that accommodated

changes made to the design,

right up to the point of exporting

drawings for manufacturing. Raw and simple, through colors and forms, it captures a decidedly Nordic aesthetic.


GXN designed four central,

multi-functional freestanding

storage units, each composed of over 520 uniquely formed wooden cubes. These units

divide the room into smaller areas accommodating the

Food Lab, the herb garden, staff areas and office.

GXN created a digital parametric

LOCATION Copenhagen, Denmark CLIENT Restaurant NOMA FUNCTION Food Lab and Office GROSS FLOOR AREA 200 m2 YEAR 2012

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes

could be no structure attached

process. In practice, this meant

Noma Food Lab

"Working with Noma gave a rare insight into how ingredients in gastronomy are undergoing a playfull mix of experimentation, surprise, flavour, aesthetic, devotion and curiosity. A remarkable world parallel to ours, when we are at our best" Kasper Guldager Jensen Architect, Director GXN, Senior Partner 3XN

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes

The Blue Planet

With its dramatic swirling form,

Using these standardized and

construction of the Blue Planet

abled 3XN to build this beautiful

most visitors might think that

aquarium required hundreds of

custom-made elements. Would

you believe that this is an ‘off the rack’ envelope?

Every building component from the steel structure out to the

façade and roof is standardized LOCATION Kastrup, Denmark CLIENT The Blue Planet Building Foundation FUNCTION Aquarium GROSS FLOOR AREA 9,700 m2 YEAR 2013

- from cement gyp board to in-

sulation to the more than 11,000 aluminum shingles – nearly all can be purchased in a typical hardware store.

readily available materials en-

and complex structure within a

very limited budget. It cost less

than 5,000DKK per m2 (670 euro per m2) for construction from

the structural steel to the façade portion of the building. For comparison, building a typical brick

wall costs about 3,000 DKK per m2 (402 euro per m2.)

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes

‘Off the Rack’ Aquarium

The Blue Planet

More Behind the Scenes

Sea otters are an endangered species, hunted to near ex-

tinction for their fur. A group of

conservation officials in the USA, where the otters originate, res-

cues animals that are abandoned in the wild and finds homes for them in zoos and aquariums.

make specific demands for their dressing rooms, sea otters have their own preferences.

Their watery habitat requires: a dedicated ice cube machine to

help keep the otters cool when

they are out of the water, which is kept at 8 degrees Celsius; quar-

antine area (should one get sick); and the otter MUST be able to

see 3 meters of horizon. In addi-

tion to the specific requirements for the habitat, 3XN’s designers had to ensure that there are no

exposed mechanical joints (i.e. screws, nuts, bolts) within the

area, because the otters will work them lose and use them to throw at zookeepers and scratch the

glass of the habitat. They have

been known to steal tools from

repair staff and hide them in their fur to use at a later time. Sneaky and smart!

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes

Like rock stars and divas that

Exploring Circular Sustainability

The Green Solution House, a

project for which GXN directed the sustainability strategy, is a

hotel and conference center on the Danish island of Bornholm. The building and landscape

employ a holistic approach to

sustainable design, emphasizing regenerative solutions including healthy indoor climate, renewable energy sources, active materials and recyclability.

Green Solution House

The project demonstrates green solutions and how an organi-

zation, a building, and a group of people can have a positive

footprint. It also features a cir-

cular business model, meaning

that the profits from operations are reinvested in testing new sustainable solutions for the

buildings and landscape. The 75 green solutions range from high to low-tech, including ‘smart’

hotel rooms, various renewable energy solutions, renovation

strategy and rainwater reser-

voirs enhancing the park around the building.

Waste equals food. Green Solution

processed on site. Food scraps

redundant materials and puts

pyrolysis plant, which generates

House takes what it can from

these resources through new cycles of use. All new con-

struction and refurbishments

heat, electricity and biochar for the gardens. A biological water

purification system cleans waste-

consider principles of Design for

water from the main building,

material value into the future.

from a local artisan’s glass studio

Disassembly, aiming to maintain

LOCATION Rønne, Denmark CLIENT Hotel Ryttergården FUNCTION Solution House and Conference Centre GROSS FLOOR AREA 4.500 m2 YEAR 2012

become a valuable resource for a

Reuse, upcycling, recyclability, and the use of local material

resources are always prioritised. Waste streams are separated,

including organic waste, which is

which is reused on-site. Off-cuts

cover the outdoor paths. As long

as materials can be separated and cleaned, they remain nutrients

feeding other cycles and supporting the Green Solution House’s goal of zero waste.

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes

More Behind the Scenes

INTERVIEW Trine Richter

Director, Green Solution House with the uncertainties of

the Velux Modular Skylight.

Green Solution House (GSH)?

My business analysis told me

Mørtel, SLA Architects and GSH

Tourism is Bornholm’s 2nd

biggest industry. The aim of

our project from the beginning

was to be a catalyst for growth on the island by extending the

tourism season. More than half of the 400,000 tourists arrive

during summer, and conferences are usually in spring and autumn. More guests throughout the year equals more work for

locals at hotels, restaurants,

museums, etc. Green Solution


that in order to attract guests and conferences the building had to offer state of the art

green solutions. Therefore, I

engaged with 3XN as design

you often stated, that you

needed to build an experiment. How did you as client deal

surrounding park.

for the enhanced comfort

experimental character. All

experiments we actually ended

up developing with shared risks

in local and global partnerships.


During the building process

with Vegecol and granite - in the

with quite a few solutions of

the sustainable strategies

conference center working as a and solutions.

paths – a glass material blended

The team selected many of

How did the interdisciplinary

showroom for green materials

developed the top layer of the

responsible and GXN to develop

House had to be an attraction

in itself, a sustainable hotel and

Pernille Bülow Glas, Bornholms

collaboration influence the The interdisciplinary colla-

boration was necessary in the

development of Green Solution

House. Differences create innovative ideas and products. For example, GXN, Velux and GSH cooperated closely to create

the materials and solutions of guests. Have you had any

feedback about this aspect of the project?

Many guests mention the

daylight and the indoor climate. Guests in the conference

rooms claim to be less tired

after 8 hours in a conference.

We started a research project to prove the impact of the

solutions in Green Solution

House on guest experience

and behaviour during a stay.

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes

Why was sustainability so

important for you for the

Building a House from Tomato Stems and Seaweed?

Denmark’s thriving agriculture

The organic materials are

millions, but squanders one of

a bio-resin, which can replace

industry creates food for

its most valuable resources:

residual products considered ‘waste.’ The Biological House takes these tomato stems, grass, straw and seaweed

and turns them into building

materials, instead of burning

The Biological House

them for energy.

pressed into new boards, using the standard plywood used in construction. The house that waste built!

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes LOCATION Middelfart, Denmark CLIENT Danish Ministry of Environment YEAR 2014 GXN ROLE Design, Research, Upcycling

The Biological House

"It sounds like science fiction that you can build a house from things such as tomato stems, straw and seaweed, which is just as durable as a normal building and at the same time has a healthy economy and complies with the rules. However, the Biological House shows that it is possible here and now" Kirsten Brosbøl Former Danish Environmental Minister

Each of the 300,000 tomato plants at Katrine & Alfreds

Tomater greenhouse grows 16 meters in a season. After they harvest the fruit, the growers cut, dry and bale the vines.

Then they pay 500 DKK per

ton to get rid of the waste. By

being able to reuse the ‘waste’ in the Biological House, it can be sold as a resource. This

turns an expense into income

for growers and farmers and is better for the environment.

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes

Upcycling Waste from Agriculture

Building a Circular Future

Building to Take Apart

Why would architects, contractors and demolition experts redesign superstructures? To eliminate building waste and make a

business out of reusing materials Today we weld, glue and cast buildings together, making

them graveyards for valuable

materials. What if we considered how we take a building’s superstructure apart before we even put it together? ‘Design for

disassembly’ is a holistic design

us to reuse, reassemble and

recycle materials and products. Practically, this means using mechanical joints and connections (screws and bolts, that unlike nails, can easily be removed

without damaging the material), and lime mortar (which can be removed by hydro blasting or

broken off) instead of cement that permanently fuses two objects together.

approach whose intention is

Selling the reused building

including a building - easy to

cost into positive business.

to make any given product –

disassemble into all its individual components. A cornerstone of the circular economy, it allows

materials turns a demolition After 50 years the result is an

earning of 16% of the buildings total new build value.

More Behind the Scenes

The Danish building industry

Concrete crunched into road fill

waste. That is a measurement

per ton, a value 50 times lower

recycles 87% of all building of weight, not of quality or economic value.

has an average value of 5 euro

than that of a new concrete element. Almost all building waste

today is being down-cycled into the lowest value possible.

INGREDIENTS / Behind the Scenes


Start at the beginning. Form evolves through the iterative design process, responding to a developing understanding of the program, site conditions, client brief, new ideas, collaboration and conversation. Designers explore ideas, take risks. Each project – both built and unrealized - informs the next, building knowledge and value.

More than a Building

Folding itself upwards, 3XN’s

proposal for the new Nobel Centre in Stockholm becomes more

than a building: it encourages

interaction through its permeability towards the waterfront promenade and extends the

public realm into the building. Its rooftop landscape invites

people to experience Stockholm from a unique perspective. It is a thoroughly modern building

that respects its historic context through its careful attention to

elements such as height, volume

Nobel Center

and materiality.

LOCATION Stockholm, Sweden CLIENT Nobel Center GROSS FLOOR AREA 20.000 m2 YEAR 2013


The Olympic Movement

In recognition of the symbolism

dynamic, undulating faรงade,

working needs of the organi-

from all angles and conveys the

of the Olympic Games and the zation, 3XN designed the new

International Olympic Committee headquarters around three key

elements: movement, flexibility and sustainability. With its

IOC Headquarters

LOCATION Lausanne, Switzerland CLIENT The International Olympic Committee FUNCTION Office YEAR 2014

the building appears different

energy of an athlete in motion.

Its open and flexible interior will adapt to multiple work styles now and in the future.

EVOLUTION / Behind the Scenes

Kubus LOCATION Berlin, Germany CLIENT Vivico FUNCTION Office GROSS FLOOR AREA 19,000 m2 YEAR 2007

Strong and Sculptural

Kubus combines a strong geometric shape with a

sculptural façade. Its bold form befits its prominent location

at Washingtonplatz in Berlin,

next to Europe’s largest railway station, Lehrter Banhof, and surrounded by Germany’s

Parliament and Tiergarten. The cube is a challenging

geometric shape, and with

important to provide the Kubus with a dynamism partly drawn

from its surroundings and partly

from what takes place within the office building.

EVOLUTION / Behind the Scenes

its 360-degree exposure, it is

La Tour LOCATION Aarhus, Denmark CLIENT JRP FUNCTION Residential GROSS FLOOR AREA 22,671 m2 YEAR 2014

Form Follows Function

Two site conditions shaped

tower sits nearby. 3XN’s gently

residential tower. Located near

of these elements, reducing the

the form of the new La Tour

a busy street, the design had to comply with the city’s stringent noise regulations. In addition, a historic and beloved water

curving design responds to both number of apartments close

to the road and enveloping, as opposed to confronting, the historic structure.

EVOLUTION / Behind the Scenes

INTERVIEW Daniel Markström

Director of Architecture, Humlegården Fastigheter that has undergone the most

expectation of a building’s

around Stora Blå (Big Blue).

development influence your form?

The challenge is to define a

program extensive enough so that it contains all the vital

functions and quantities but at

the same time can be solved in a number of ways. Of course,

you will have an idea of what it

could look like, but the obligation as a client/developer is to have an open mind. The evolution

takes place in the cooperation between the client/developer

changes is the master plan

You need to keep an open mind

felt right. The interesting

conclusions and decisions,

before landing on a plan that

thing was that the master plan was very much about place

making, the space between

the buildings. But those ideas

were tested, and evolved, when we started to work with the

individual buildings for different potential clients. The founding values were still the same. How does this evolution

Which project on which

It requires courage to work

3XN changed the most during the design process?

Evolution takes time. Quality requires time. Time drives

evolution, since the parameters

around you change. The project

strive for the latter.

We tried numerous variations

and the architect.

Humlegården has worked with

create, it’s our obligation to

affect you as the developer? in an evolutionary process.

Is 80% right good enough, or

should we start over to reach

100%? I think too many times, developers take the easy way. Considering the life span of

buildings and the places they

and be willing to reevaluate your especially in the early concept

stage. Be willing to kill a darling. The evolution process is a form of intellectual exercise.

EVOLUTION / Behind the Scenes

How does the program for a


Myriad voices contribute to a building, from the designer and client to dozens of technical advisors and consultants. Meaningful collaboration between and among all of these participants is the key to a successful project – one that meets the needs of users, owners, developers and the community in which it resides.

Quay Quarter Tower



Project Team

Specialty Consultants

Collaboration Across the Globe

To make a building it takes much

and consultants from around the

team hereof. The Quay Quarter

unfolds the various partners of

more than a single architect, or a Tower in Sydney is designed through a collaboration of

three main parties – architect,

client and city – each leading a professional team of designers

world. The collaboration mobile

the project, also envisioning the

future team of contractors. It does

not end here – on the contrary, the life of the building begins after the collaborators have finished their work, and then it is the user and

the people of the city that shape the future of the project.

Client Consultants


COLLABORATION / Behind the Scenes



Quay Quarter Tower


Project Engineer for Building Services, Electrical, Faรงade, ESD, BMU, Fire and Transportation:

ARUP Sydney

Competition Structural and Building services engineer:

ARUP Manchester

Competition Faรงade Engineer:

ARUP London

Structural Engineer:


Waste Management Consultant:

The Mack Group

End of Trip Consultant:

PFL Spaces

Accessibility Consultant:

Morris Goding Accessibility Consulting Wind Engineering and Air Quality Consultant:

Cermak Peterka Petersen Building Code of Australia Consultant: Group DLA Renderer: Doug & Wolf Animator: Squint Opera

Executive Architect:


Landscape Architect and Public Domain Consultant:



BVN Architecture Aspect

Workplace Consultant:

Veldhoen Company Urban Retail Activation:

Jerde Partnership Brand Consultancy: Frost* Competition Organizer: Urbis Quantity Surveyor:

Buildability Consultant:

Pier Property Consultance Retail Consultant:

CITY City of Sydney

CONTRACTORS Plumbing Foundations Steel Roof Faรงade Electric Fire Surveillance Cranes

Central Sydney Planning Commission Sydney Design Advisory Panel New South Wales Transportation Department

Brain & Poulter

COLLABORATION / Behind the Scenes

WT Partnership

Ventilation Elevators Carpentry Masonry Flooring Painting Concrete Ceilings Insulation

INTERVIEW Louise Mason

AMP Capital Chief Operating Officer – Property

already been involved in the

design process for the Quay

where Sydney greets the world, Circular Quay.

Quarter Tower (QQT). Did the

How important is collaboration

collaborators surprise you?

With many different stake-

number or nature of any of these The number of stakeholders

involved certainly makes sense given the scale of this project.

From the outset we knew that an

international design competition would be held for Quay Quarter Tower, with six international-

ly-renowned architectural firms

invited to participate. The tower sits within a circa 11,000sqm

for a successful project?

holders involved in the project,

including government, authori-

ties, local partners, consultants, architects and engineers,

effective collaboration across all groups ultimately enables

us to deliver a greater outcome for tenants, investors and the community.

precinct bordered by four

Do you think that the common

buildings with public domain,

and Australian cultures have

streets and including four other infrastructure and heritage

considerations, all designed

under the framework of the 3XN Master Plan. The iconic location also attracted a lot of interest

amongst stakeholders, with the opportunity to help transform

values shared between Danish benefitted the collaborative process on the QQT?

The collaborative process

between AMP Capital and 3XN has been fantastic. There is

certainly a shared innovative

spirit between our nations - just

COLLABORATION / Behind the Scenes

Many different groups have

required the architect to con-

are renowned for architectural

their tower solution. 3XN refined

scraper in Australia, the Danes excellence, including Utzon’s

Opera House, providing a strong link between us dating back to

the 1950s and furthered today with Crown Princess Mary of

Denmark. You might also say we share a friendly, open-minded and easy-going nature, where

team spirit, humour and a positive outlook are highly valued.

Some base floors of the village atria in the QQT will have de-

constructable floors that allow

flexibility in the way that a tenant can achieve their particular

workplace strategy. Was this

design evolution the result of

effective collaboration between architect and the client?

Yes. 3XN’s initial competition

design responded very well to the competition brief, which

sider future tenant flexibility in the initial concept design to

provide for a diverse range of

opportunities for tenants’ cur-

rent and future demands, which is continually evolving with

tenant enquiry on the project.

COLLABORATION / Behind the Scenes

as AMP developed the first sky-

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Collaboration Across Industries

Innovation starts where

industries meet. Our innovation unit, GXN, collaborates with

professionals from all across the spectrum. With a mind

open to learning, new ideas get born and the harvest ranges

from innovative materials, new

business models and alternative ways of building. Through cross collaborations we create new al gic iolo e B use Ho


can do, both for people and the environment.


ial ter Ma orld W

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COLLABORATION / Behind the Scenes

definitions of what architecture

te ma Cli ity C


Material World Architectural Exhibitors (Danish Architecture Center) Philanthropic Association (Realdania) Material Consultants (Arup Materials) Cradle to Cradle Masterplan Landscape Architects (SLA) C2C Architects (William McDonough + Partners) Developer (Delta Group) Climate City Landscape Architects (SLA) Process Sociologists (Rekommanderet) Waterway Specialist (Jonas Smith) Digital Factory Robot Programmers (Odico) Computer Scientists (DTU - Compute) Knowledge Exchange (NCC Construction) Agro Food Park C2C Architects (William McDonough + Partners) Planning Strategists (Urland) Masterplan designers (BCVA) Traffic Engineer (Via Trafik) Reinvent Paris Electric Car Manufacturers (Bolloré) Artists (Studio Roosegaarde) Urban Agriculture Operators (Les Fermes De Gally) Startup Supporters (The Family) Horten Facade Building Contractors (Pihl) Structural Engineers (Rambøll) Facade Contractors (Skandinaviska Glassystem) Foam Insulation (Diab Group)

Urban Nature City Museum (Museum of Copenhagen) Timber Craftsmens (Kuubo), Urban Farmers (Plantelaboratoriet) Landscape Architects (Schul) Gotham Light Light Concept (Scotia) Light Makers (EWO and Riegens) Photovoltaic Developers (Q-Cells) Electronic Suppliers (Scenetek) Biotope Gardens Landscape Architects (SLA) Timber Craftsmens (Kuubo) Biology Students (University of Copenhagen) Geologists (EASJ) BladeRunner Concrete Manufacturer (Confac) Robot Programmers (Odico) Computer Scientists (DTU - Compute) Mechanical Scientists (DTU - Mechanics) Technology Development (Teknologisk Institut) Building a Circular Future Building Contractor (MT Højgaard) Demolition Specialists (Kingo Karlsen) Constructing Architects (VIA University College) C2C Consultants (Vugge til Vugge Danmark) Innovation Engineers (Henrik Innovation) Photovoltaic Grid Photovoltaic Manufacturer (Gaia Solar) Technology Development (Teknologisk Institut) Energy Company (Seas NVE) Economists (Deloitte) Solar Energy Developers (Solar City Denmark) Steel Specialists (Steelhouse) Innovation Agents (Smith Innovation) Financial Institute (Nykredit)

The Biological House Building Architects (Een til Een) Technology Development (Teknologisk Institut) Building Contractor (NCC Construction) Economists (Deloitte) Engineering Consultants (Clausen Ingeniører)

Green Solution House Local Architects (Stenberg) Engineering Consultants (Esbensen) C2C Advisors (William McDonough + Partners) Window Manufacturer (VELUX) Philanthropic Association (Realdania) Saint-Gobain (Material Manufacturer) Software Developer (Autodesk) Project Engineering (Rambøll) Pyrolysis Plant Manufacturer (Frichs) Living Machine (Ove Lolland) Intelligent Indoor Climate (Strategic Innovation) Glass Artists (Pernille Bülow) BioBuild Composite Technologist (NetComposites) Contractor (Acciona Infraestructuras) Furan Chemists(TransFurans Chemicals) Engineering Consultant (Arup) University (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) Cork Composites (Amorim, Portugal) Composites Developer (IVW, Germany) Environmental Specialist (TNO, Netherlands) Standardizations (LNEC, Portugal) Construction Knowledge (SHR, Netherlands) Durability Expert (Exel Composites) Composite Manufacturer (Fiber-Tech)

Urban Green Plant Nursery (3kanten) Biologists (Nissen Consult) Green Roof Suppliers (Byggros) Allergies Specialists (Asthma-Allergy Denmark) Horticultural Graduate (Sunny) Politicians (City Architects) Biodiversity Monitoriers (Aarhus University) Business Developer (HedeDanmark) Cradle to Cradle Manual C2C Consultants (Vugge til Vugge Danmark) C2C Architects (William McDonough + Partners) Chemistry Designers (MBDC) Material Scientists (EPEA) Biology Professor (Peder Agger, RUC) Environmental Engineer (Alectia) Sustainability Engineer (COWI) Indoor Climate Specialist (Technological Institute) Professor of Building Services (Peter Luscuere) Sustainable Planning (Aalborg University) Resource Center (ARC) Nature Conservation (Danish Nature Association)

COLLABORATION / Behind the Scenes

The Integrated Facade Facade Engineers (Arup Facade) Facade Manufacturer (Permasteelisa) Aerogel Factory (Cabot) Composite Factory (Fiberline) Facade Inventor (Art Andersen)

Louisiana Pavillon Windmill Manufacturer (Skykon) Engineering Consultants (COWI) Binder Specialists (3M) Chemists (BASF and Ashland Inc.) Cork Composites (Amorim) Linen Manufacturer (Libeco-Lagae) Cytomechanics (Flex Cell) Electronic Suppliers (Phillips and Scenetek) Piezoelectric Technologist (Noliac Motion) Composite Specialists (Stage One, NetComposites) Chemical Nanotechnologist (Nano-X) Technology Development (TI and Risø DTU)

3XN ARCHITECTS Kim Herforth Nielsen founded

ning corporate headquarters for

parts. 3XN thinks that it is

Aarhus, Denmark. Now based in

Deloitte, residential buildings

of design, function and context.

3XN Architects in 1986 in

Copenhagen with an additional

office in Stockholm, four senior

partners direct the firm: Founder and Creative Director Kim

Herforth Nielsen, CEO Jeanette Hansen, Head of Design Jan Ammundsen and Director of

clients including Swedbank and and cultural destinations. 3XN, through daring concepts and design, creates architecture

that contributes positively to learning, living and working environments.

GXN Kasper Guldager Jensen.

3XN believes that a new building

the leadership group.

positive qualities to the site. This

Six additional partners complete

In 2007 3XN established GXN, an internal innovation unit,

whose mission is to collect and apply the latest knowledge on

materials and new technologies to the studio’s architecture.

The abiding philosophy that

architecture shapes behaviour guides all of the firm’s work,

from the revolutionary design of Danish upper secondary school Ørestad College to award-win-

should always add new and

happens through careful analysis of the area, the surrounding buildings and the client brief.

They see the project’s complexity and challenges as positive

forces, which inspire them to create something unique.

The firm creates places that

support interaction and com-

munication, and where synergy can grow.

Buildings, like people, are more than the sum of their many

possible to achieve a synthesis That is why a holistic approach

is the guiding principle, and why they are forever exploring the

possibilities of building better, cleverer, more beautifully.

Colophon Ausstellung / Exhibition 3XN Architects, Kopenhagen Behind the Scenes – The Simplicity and Complexity of Architecture

Katalog / Catalogue

30 April - 9 June 2016 Aedes am Pfefferberg Christinenstr.18-19 10119 Berlin

Katalog Gestaltung / Catalogue Design: Hans Munk, Mathilde Manz

Projektmanagement / Project Management Stephanie Miller, 3XN Architects

Druck / Printing Kailow Graphic

Projektmanagement / Project Management Beate Engelhorn, Aedes Berlin Ausstellungsteam / Exhibition Team Audur Hreidarsdottir, Kim Herforth Nielsen, Kasper Guldager Jensen, Jan Ammundsen, Jeanette Hansen, Casper Østergaard Christensen, Kasra Karimi, Ana Merino, George Cox, Rohan Goradia, Otis Harley, Shaun Ryder, Rebekah Tien , Yidi Xu, Christian Harald Hommelhoff Brink, Alexander Guldager Kongshaug

Herausgeber / Publisher Kristin Feireiss, Hans-Jürgen Commerell

Produktion / Production 3XN Architects

Fotos / Photographs © by 3XN, GXN, Adam Mørk, Ben Blossom, Jonas Eriksson, Rasmus Hjortshøj, CphCph, Justine Høgh, Stamers Kontor, Tuala Hjarnø © 2016, Aedes and the authors ISBN: 978-3-943615-35-7

Wir danken den Aedes Cooperationspartnern für ihre Unterstützung: We cordially thank the Aedes cooperation partners for their support:

Die Ausstellung wurde ermöglicht durch die freundliche Unterstützung von: The exhibition was made possible with the generous support of:


Behind the Scenes: The Simplicity and Complexity of Architecture  

3XN announces an exhibition that goes 'behind the scenes' of architecture, exploring some of the little-known stories, processes and people...

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